Mark Byrnes is a former senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design and architecture.
According to the United Nations, there haven’t been this many displaced people on earth since World War II.
Conflict and oppression led nearly one million people to seek refuge in the European Union alone in 2015. According to the United Nations, there haven’t been this many refugees and internally displaced people on earth since World War II.
Mass migrations have forced countries to test their own compassion for those in desperate need. The reality of hundreds of thousands of people trying to start new lives elsewhere has brought out the best and worst of politicians, business owners and average citizens in Europe, North America, and elsewhere.
A refugee’s journey comes not only with the risk of detainment or denial of entry, but also death. Nearly 4,000 individuals have perished on their way from North Africa and the Middle East to Europe this year; some were found dead in the trucks they were being smuggled in, others on the shores they tried to reach by boat.
Whether fleeing war or disease or persecution, the journey to safety is never easy and the challenges continue once arriving in a new country. It’s a trip far too many had to take in 2015.