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Many of the millions of people fleeing wars in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan are traveling through the Balkans in the hope of reaching Western Europe. European countries have received many thousands of applications for asylum, with Germany receiving more than a half a million since 2011, according to the New York Times. European leaders are divided over how the region should handle the influx.
Hungary is building a fence on its border with Serbia in order to block the entry of more migrants into the country. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that offering protection to the migrants is a task all of Europe should share. And countries such as Greece—still struggling with its own economic troubles—are straining to accommodate the newcomers.
—Posted by Adam Jeffery and Robert Ferris, September 3, 2015
Migrants find shelter in the passenger terminal after arriving from the islands at the port of Piraeus, on February 29. 2016. in Athens, Greece, Border restrictions further north in the Balkans have left thousands of refugees and migrants stranded in Greece.
Migrants carry a placard as part of the 'jungle' migrant camp is cleared on February 29, 2016 in Calais, France The French authorities have begun dismantling part of the migrant encampment in the northern French town of Calais and relocating people to purpose-built accommodation nearby.
A woman threatens to cut her wrist with a knife as French police remove her and a man from the top of a hut as they clear the 'jungle' migrant camp on March 01, 2016 in Calais, France. Police and demolition teams are continuing to dismantle makeshift shelters in the migrant camp known as the 'Jungle' and relocating many people to purpose-built accommodation nearby.
A migrants watches a hut burn as police officers clear part of the 'Jungle' migrant camp. Migrants and refugees hopeful of entry into the U.K. had built the camp near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel which connects mainland Europe with the U.K..
A woman stands outside her tent holding a child in the early morning on the Greek-Macedonia border on March 1, 2016 in Idomeni, Greece. The transit camp has become overcrowded as refugees continue to arrive from Athens and the Greek Islands. Macedonia opened its border with Greece allowing 580 refugees a day to cross into the country. According to local authorities 7000 refugees and migrants, mostly from Syria, remain stuck at the border as they wait to enter Macedonia to journey to Western Europe.
Refugees, attempting to escape a transit camp on the Greek-Macedonia border, try to bring down a fence and enter Macedonia. The camp has become overcrowded as refugees continue to arrive from Athens and the Greek Islands seeking entrance into Macedonia and then further onwards into Europe.
A migrant wounded during clashes between migrants and Macedonian police over the fence by the Greek border. According to local authorities 7,000 refugees and migrants, mostly from Syria, remain stuck at the border. Macedonia is currently letting in 580 refugees a day.
Hundreds of migrants protest in front of Budapest's Keleti Railway Terminus on Wednesday—for a second straight day, shouting "Freedom, freedom!" and demanding to be let onto trains bound for Germany from a station that has been closed to them by Hungarian riot police.
Refugees and migrants disembark from the passenger ship "Tera Jet" following a trip from the Greek island of Lesbos to the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece, on September 1, 2015. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says 1,500-2,000 are taking the route through Greece, Macedonia and Serbia to Hungary every day, and there is "a real possibility" the flow could rise to 3,000 daily.
A Syrian refugee, from Kobani, carries her baby as she arrives with other Syrian refugees on a dinghy on the island of Lesbos, Greece, on August 23, 2015. Greece, mired in its worst economic crisis in generations, has been largely unprepared for a mass influx of refugees, mainly Syrians. Arrivals have exceeded 160,000 this year, three times as high as in 2014.
A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi, 3, after a number of migrants died and a smaller number were reported missing after boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized, near the Turkish resort of Bodrum early Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. The family—Abdullah, his wife Rehan and their two boys, 3-year-old Aylan and 5-year-old Galip—embarked on the perilous boat journey only after their bid to move to Canada was rejected. The tides also washed up the bodies of Rehan and Galip on Turkey's Bodrum peninsula Wednesday. Abdullah survived.
A man carries two children as he walks with other migrants near the southern Serbian village of Miratovac, traveling on foot from Macedonia to Presevo in Serbia, on August 25. At least 2,000 more migrants flooded overnight into Serbia in a desperate journey to try and go on to Hungary, the door into the European Union, a UN official said the day before.
Syrian and Iraqi migrants sleep on railroad tracks waiting to be processed across the Macedonian border yesterday in Idomeni, Greece. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called "Balkans route" has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The number of people leaving their homes in war torn countries such as Syria, marks the largest migration of people since World War II.
Syrian refugees and other migrants are stopped by Macedonian police at the Greek-Macedonian border, near the village of Idomeni on August 22. Crowds of migrants and refugees were building on Greece's border with Macedonia on Saturday after a cold, wet night spent in the open, their entry slowly rationed by Macedonian police and soldiers.
Hungarian policemen near a family of migrants attempting to flee at a railway station in the town of Bicske, Hungary, today. A camp for refugees and asylum seekers is located in Bicske.
Hungarian policemen detain a Syrian migrant family after they entered Hungary at the border with Serbia, near Roszke, on August 28.
A migrant holds a crying boy out of a local train coming from Budapest and heading to the Austrian border, that has been stopped in Bicske, west of the Hungarian capital earlier today. The train carrying between 200 and 300 migrants left Budapest's main international train station after authorities re-opened the station to migrants.
Migrants storm into a train at the Keleti train station in Budapest, Hungary, on Thursday after Hungarian police withdrew from the gates after two days of blocking their entry.
Sub-Saharan Africans gather at a center for illegal migrants last February in Alkarem district of the port city of Misrata in east Libya. Mired in unrest and political chaos, Libya has been a launchpad for migrants trying to reach Europe and who turn to people-smugglers to cross the Mediterranean, mainly to Italy.
Migrants hang onto flotation tubes in the sea after jumping from an overloaded wooden boat during a rescue operation 10.5 miles off the coast of Libya in early August.
Migrants, including three men from Benin, who had arrived by train to Germany, sit on cots while waiting to register at a center for migrants at a facility of the German Federal Police (Bundespolizei) on August 31 in Rosenheim, Germany. German police monitor trains arriving from the Balkans and from Italy that go through Rosenheim and currently detain around 350 people a day for traveling without a passport.