But many other moving pictures have been taken over the years, demonstrating the dangers of the migrants’ journey, and sometimes the treatment they have received on arrival in Europe.
Here are 6 that have had a strong impact.
- Juan Medina was working as a photographer for a local paper in the Canary Islands in 2004 when yet another small boat arrived, packed with men from sub-Saharan Africa. As a Spanish Civil Guard patrol approached, it capsized and nine men drowned. Medina photographed two of the 29 survivors, Isa and Ibrahim, both from Mali, as they were pulled from the water. The shot won him a World Press Photo award the following year.
- Two tiny Spanish enclaves on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast, Ceuta and Melilla, exercise a magnetic attraction for people trying to reach Europe “It seemed like a good moment to take a photo that was a bit more symbolic,” he told the El Pais newspaper.
- In April this year a wooden sailing boat carrying Syrians and Eritreans smashed on rocks as it attempted to land on the Greek island of Rhodes. Greek army sergeant Antonis Deligiorgis, who was having a coffee with his wife on the seafront, dived into the waves and rescued 20 of the 93 people on board singlehandedly. Another, a pregnant woman who later gave birth in Rhodes general hospital, told staff she would name her son after the man who had saved her.
4. This photograph shows a Syrian man, Laith Majid, holding his son and daughter in his arms, after a journey from Turkey to the Greek island of Kos in an inflatable boat that been steadily losing air. An entire country’s pain captured in one father’s face.
- When Macedonia closed its border to migrants last month, after declaring a state of emergency, thousands spent a night in no man’s land. AP photographer Darko Vojinovic captured this young father’s despair. In the previous three weeks 39,000 migrants had been registered as they passed through the country en route for Serbia, and then Hungary – a member of the European Union. “Just unbelievable that Europe, with all its wealth, can’t come up with a better response to refugee crisis than this.
- This photograph went viral on social media a week ago. Who was the desperate man selling pens to support his family in the Lebanese capital Beirut. He was quickly identified as Abdul Halim Attar, a Palestinian refugee from Yarmouk in Syria and a crowdfunding campaign was launched on Indiegogo. It has already raised $181,000. Attar’s goal is to set up an education fund for Syrian children – and to return home from Beirut as soon as this becomes possible.