Migrants and refugees trying to reach Western Europe must travel by ship, where they face several dangers. Colloquially known as “boat people”, they have to endure unsafe waters, weak vessels that often capsize, and unsympathetic police. In 2013, nearly 35,000 people have so far arrived in southern Italy and Malta. Those on board are mainly from Libya, Somalia, Eritrea, Egypt, Pakistan, Mali, Gambia, Aghanistan, and Syria.
The UN says there are now more refugees than at any time since 1994. And they’re not all heading for Europe. Thousands of asylum-seekers, mainly from Afghanistan and the Middle East, head to Indonesia each year to make the dangerous voyage across the Indian ocean to Australia.
In addition, many Haitians and Cubans trek through the Caribbean to reach Miami and the rest of the United States.
This gallery of images, all taken within the past couple of weeks, offers a glimpse into the perilous journeys migrants undertake in search of a better life.For more on migrants’ routes to Europe, check out Al Jazeera’s interactive infographic: The price of passage