‘Safer than the land’

“You have to understand/ no one puts their children in a boat/ unless the water is safer than the land.” So goes the poem “Home” by Warsan Shire, which has become a rallying cry for refugees since the European crisis began in 2015. As Refugee Week draws to a close, the issue has dominated the news once more. Here are 12 pictures from crisis points around the world.

All images © Getty

August 5, 2013. Somali refugees wait on the outskirts of Hagadera Camp outside Dadaab, Kenya. There are over 870,000 Somalis refugees in Africa and Yemen, displaced by two-and-a-half decades of conflict in their home country.
June 2015. “Burundian refugees rest with their belongings on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Kagunga village in Tanzania.” Violent protests broke out in Burundi in 2015, forcing many people to flee to nearby countries.
“A Syrian refugee cries while disembarking from a flooded raft at a beach on the Greek island of Lesbos.” More than one million migrants entered the EU in 2015, many of them travelling by boat from Turkey.
September 18, 2015. Two weeks after Hungary closed its borders, desperate refugees board a train at a station in Tovarnik, Croatia, on the border with Serbia. Thousands were left stranded as Croatia closed its border crossings.
October 1, 2015. “After battling rough seas and high winds from Turkey, refugees arrive by rubber raft on a jagged shoreline of Lesbos.” In March 2016, the EU made a deal with Turkey to help stem the flow of refugees.
In 2015, a Syrian refugee reacts as he waits behind closed border fences to cross into Turkey with his daughter. Turkey is now home to around 3.5 million refugees, the largest population in the world.
October 22, 2015. “Migrants walking past a church, escorted by Slovenian riot police to a registration camp outside Dobova, Slovenia.”
October 3, 2016. “Haitian and African migrants seeking asylum in the United States, line up outside a Mexican migration office” in Tijuana, on the border with California.
September 21, 2017. “A Rohingya Muslim boy, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, pleads with aid workers to give him a bag of rice near Balukhali refugee camp”. At least 655,500 Rohingya refugees fled Myanmar last year.
June 2018. Last week, Italy closed its ports to the 630 migrants on board the Aquarius, which had rescued them from the shores of Libya. Here, they are being transferred to an Italian ship before making their way to Spain.
June 2018. Over six weeks in 2018, the US separated 2,000 children from their families. This picture of a crying two-year-old Honduran girl in Texas helped to spark widespread outrage. President Donald Trump has now stopped the practice.