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Migrants being rescued during operation 'Mare Nostrum' in the southern Mediterranean sea off the Italian coast, 29 April 2014. (EPA/GIUSEPPE LAMI)
Thousands have died making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe’s shores. Most knew the risks but took a desperate chance to escape conflict and persecution.
The civil war in Syria and instability in Libya have had a major impact on this migrant passage with more than 35,000 successfully crossing from Africa in 2015. Some 1600, however, are believed to have died since January.
While European countries have pledged to crackdown on the boats and smugglers, there is currently no unifying migration and asylum policy in the EU. European citizens and activists are calling for action before the crisis deepens.
The Stream gathered European perspectives on this humanitarian tragedy. Hear their views on our interactive site.