A migrant is someone who chooses to resettle to another country in search of a better life. The European Union is facing worst migrant crisis since the World War II.
Wars in Iraq and Syria, unrest in the African continent and chaos in Libya have spurred exodus of refugees in European Union. In 2014, over 170,000 people sailed in Italy fleeing persecution and poverty.
Tens of thousands of people, mainly from Africa and the Middle East, try to reach Europe by sailing the sea, often dangerously packed into small vessels that are never designed to cross the Mediterranean.
The exodus of desperate migrants from the Middle East and Africa has put unprecedented pressure on EU countries, especially Italy, Greece and Hungary.
Human traffickers too exploit them by charging exorbitant to sail through Mediterranean sea. Sometimes they are treated like slaves by gangs. They are forced to work for months to make enough money to cross the EU.
Here are some facts you need to know about European migrant crisis
- The ongoing conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan and abuse in Eritrea have become major drivers of migration.
- More than 350,000 migrants were detected at the EU's borders in January-August 2015, compared with 280,000 detections for the whole of 2014.
- According to International Organization for Migration, over 2,600 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean this year, trying to reach Greece or Italy.
- This week, 71 refugees were found dead in a truck in Austria, and scores of other migrants died off Europe's shores yet again.
- Thousands of migrants have tried to board trains to Germany from Hungary, forcing Budapest's Eastern Railway station to close it on September 1.
- Migrants also face abuse or suffer beatings from gang masters who lure them a secure passage to Europe.
Some of the worst Migrant tragedies in 2015 include:
- On August 27, two boats carrying about 500 migrants sank after leaving Zuwara in Libya.
- 71 people were found dead in an abandoned lorry in Austria on August 27.
- Shipwreck off Italy's Lampedusa island on 19 April took an estimated 800 lives.
- At least 300 migrants feared to have drowned after attempting to cross the Mediterranean in rough seas in early February.