The Mediterranean Migrant Crisis: Risking Everything for a Chance at a Better Life

People from impoverished and war-torn countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South Asia continue to flee their homes in huge numbers, making perilous journeys to Europe in search of security, opportunity, and a new home. The United Nations estimates that 60,000 migrants have already made the journey across the Mediterranean Sea this year, landing in Southern Europe, while another 1,800 attempted the crossing but did not survive. After making deals with traffickers and traveling overland to Turkey or the near-anarchy of Libya, suffering at the hands of smugglers, and dodging war zones and government checkpoints, these people are crammed onto tiny or antiquated vessels and launched into the Mediterranean. Often, distress calls are sounded soon after they depart, and they then must rely on European rescue vessels to pick them up, gambling that they will be reached before their boats capsize. The European Commission is now proposing EU member nations take in the rising wave of migrants based on a quota scheme, while the European Union has proposed conducting search-and-destroy operations against empty Libyan smuggling boats.
Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Ferdi Awed / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Pug Mugshot, Umbrella Sky, Helsinki Summit

    Splashing in New York City, deadly protests in Nicaragua, a reunited migrant family in Texas, tornado damage in Iowa, mammoth transport in Austria, and much more.

  • HelloRF Zcool / Shutterstock

    A Photo Trip to China’s Qiandongnan Prefecture

    In south central China’s Guizhou province sits Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, home to nearly four million people, beautiful scenery, and colorful festivals.

  • Marco Longari / AFP / Getty

    Afriski: Lesotho's Only Ski Resort

    High in the Mountains of Lesotho, sits Afriski, one of only two ski resorts in southern Africa.

  • Ilya Naymushin / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Atomic Art, Moon Pool, Giant Iceberg

    The Royal Air Force celebrates its centennial in London, World Cup emotions run high, the Running of the Bulls begins in Spain, Tour de France riders pass through stage six, and much more.