Migrants reach out to grab hold of Migrant Offshore Aid Station rescuers off the coast of Libya, August 3, 2015. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit

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.

Italian Carabiniere give instructions to migrants as they are transferred to another immigration center by a ferry boat on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa February 20, 2015. (REUTERS /Alessandro Bianchi)
A resident enters a new refugee centre for housing asylum seekers in the Koepenick district of Berlin January 2, 2015. Six new container camps for refugees are to be built in the capital. (REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch)
An asylum seeker rests in an abandoned house in Brussels where he is squatting January 7, 2015. Asylum seekers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, who feared being sent back to their homelands, urged the Belgian government to allow them to stay in the country until the Ebola epidemic was over. (REUTERS/Francois Lenoir)
A Spanish Civil Guard officer (L) throws a sandwich to an African migrant sitting at the top of a border fence during an attempt to cross into Spanish territories, between Morocco and Spain's north African enclave of Melilla February 10, 2015. Of the nearly 400 migrants who participated in the attempt, 40 migrants managed to cross the border into Spain that day, and were then held at CETI, a short-stay immigrant center, according to local authorities. (REUTERS/Jesus Blasco de Avellaneda)
Refugees from eastern Ukraine arrive at a train station in the southern city of Stavropol February 18, 2015. Fifty people arrived in Stavropol from Donetsk that day for temporary accommodations. (REUTERS/Eduard Korniyenko)
Toothbrushes and disposable razors, which belong to Sudanese immigrants, are seen inside a deserted textile factory at the western Greek town of Patras April 28, 2015. Some in Patras are recent arrivals, often traveling via Turkey, others have languished in the empty buildings for as long as two years. (REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis)
A Syrian immigrant walks by a petrol station close to the Greek-Macedonian border in the village of Idomeni in Kilkis prefecture May 13, 2015. Mostly Afghan, Syrian, and African immigrants cross daily from Greece into Macedonia on their way to northern European countries; most of them are turned back by Macedonian border guards. (REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis)
A Rohingya child who recently arrived by boat has his picture taken for identification purposes at a shelter in Kuala Langsa, in Indonesia's Aceh Province, May 18, 2015. The United Nations has called on Southeast Asian nations not to push back the boatloads of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar— men, women and children who fled persecution and poverty at home, and now face sickness and starvation at sea. (REUTERS/Roni Bintang)
Syrian immigrants call friends after crossing the border, along with another 45 Syrian immigrants, into Macedonia near the Greek village of Idomeni in Kilkis prefecture May 14, 2015. (REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis)
A migrant jumps out of a truck after being discovered by police officers during an attempt to jump on a truck in the port of Calais, France, in the hopes of crossing the English Channel and seeking asylum in Britain, May 21, 2015. (REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol)
Migrants sleep at an abandoned gas station in Calais, France, May 20, 2015. (REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol)
A migrant prays at sunrise on the rocks of the seawall at the Saint Ludovic border crossing on the Mediterranean Sea between Vintimille, Italy and Menton, France, June 17, 2015. (REUTERS/Eric Gaillard)
Immigrants from Syria stand near their bicycles as they hide from the rain under a bridge near the Greek border with Macedonia, June 17, 2015. (REUTERS/Ognen Teofilovski)
A coffin, containing the body of an unidentified migrant, is carried off the Irish Navy ship LE Niamh in the Sicilian harbor of Messina, Italy July 29, 2015. Rescuers found 14 dead migrants on a boat off the coast of Libya with more than 450 others aboard. (REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello)
Migrants are seen in silhouette as they gather in the Guillaume-Bude secondary school in Paris, France, August 2, 2015. Some two hundred migrants, some of whom were expelled from a makeshift tent city in the French capital, seek refuge in the annex of the secondary school. (REUTERS/Stephane Mahe)
Migrants on a rubber dinghy wait to be rescued by the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) ship MV Phoenix, some 20 miles off the coast of Libya, August 3, 2015. The Phoenix, manned by personnel from international non-governmental organizations Medecins san Frontiere (MSF) and MOAS, is the first privately funded vessel to operate in the Mediterranean. (REUTERS/Darrin Zammit)
Migrants from Afghanistan charge their mobile phones, powered by a generator, at "The New Jungle" camp in Calais, France, August 4, 2015. Many of the camp's inhabitants stay there during daylight hours, prior to heading for the Channel tunnel, where they attempt to illegally jump onto moving freight trains bound for Britain. (REUTERS/Peter Nicholls)
Workers erect new buildings for migrants inside a camp in Ingelheim near Mainz, Germany, August 5, 2015. (REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski)
Migrants board a train through the windows at Gevgelija train station in Macedonia, close to the border with Greece, August 15, 2015. (REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov)
Syrian refugees take "selfies" moments after arriving on an overcrowded dinghy at a beach on the Greek island of Kos, after crossing a part of the Aegean sea from Turkey, August 9, 2015. (REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis)
A refugee sleeps inside a storage space of the railway company at the Greek-Macedonian border, near the village of Idomeni, August 22, 2015. (REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis)
People carry their belongings while crossing the Tachira river border with Venezuela into Colombia, near Villa del Rosario village, August 25, 2015. (REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez)
Migrants sleep at a bus stop after crossing into Hungary from the border with Serbia near Asotthalom, Hungary, August 30, 2015. (REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo)
A migrant, who has been picked up within Austria near the border with Hungary, stands in front of information posters at a makeshift camp in Nickelsdorf, Austria, August 29, 2015. (REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader)
Migrants gesture on a bus bound for Austria and Germany, next to the Keleti train station in Budapest, Hungary, September 5, 2015. Hungary's government said it would deliver around 100 buses to pick up migrants in Budapest and another 1,200 striding down the main highway to Vienna. Long lines of buses packed with migrants left Budapest bound for Austria on that night as Hungary gave in to determined crowds, including many Syrian refugees, who had set out on foot for western Europe in defiance of a right-wing government vowing to stem their tide. (REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)
Refugees and migrants push each other as they try to board a bus following their arrival onboard the Eleftherios Venizelos passenger ship at the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece, September 7, 2015. (REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)
Migrants run from police as they escape from a collection point in Roszke village, Hungary, September 8, 2015. (REUTERS/Marko Djurica)
Refugee children point at a map of Europe inside a make-shift tent at a refugee camp close to a registration center on the Greek island of Lesbos November 18, 2015. (REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis)

Migrants check a European map as they wait for trains at the Wien Westbahnhof railway station in Vienna, Austria, September 9, 2015. (REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)
A Danish policeman plays with a migrant girl at the E45 freeway north of Padborg September 9, 2015. Migrants arrived in Padborg on a train from Germany and were placed at a school. The police closed the freeway due to security reasons. (REUTERS/Claus Fisker/Scanpix Denmark)
Migrants' tents are blown off by the wind near a collection point in the village of Roszke, Hungary September 9, 2015. (REUTERS/Marko Djurica)
A young migrant from Morocco tries to hide in a fairground truck heading to board a ferry to continental Spain, in Spain's North African enclave of Melilla, September 7, 2015. (REUTERS/Jesus Blasco de Avellaneda)
Migrants walk on a highway towards Vienna, near Nickelsdorf , Austria September 11, 2015. (REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)
German soldiers walk inside a makeshift bedroom that was prepared for migrants at a sports hall in Hanau, Germany September 14, 2015. (REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)
Registration bands for migrants are prepared at a train station near the border with Austria in Freilassing, Germany September 15, 2015. (REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler)
Migrants walk on a highway near Edirne, Turkey, September 19, 2015. (Reuters/Osman Orsal)
Ihab, 30 (center), a Syrian migrant from Deir al-Zor, cries as he and his family are welcomed by his relatives upon their arrival at the railway station in Lubeck, Germany, September 18, 2015. (REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra)
Ihab, 30, a Syrian migrant from Deir al-Zor, takes photographs from a train as he travels with his family from Hamburg to Lubeck, Germany on September 18, 2015. (REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra)
Ehab Ali Naser, a 23 year-old Syrian refugee, walks past tents at a makeshift camp on a street, in northern Paris, France, September 15, 2015. (REUTERS/Eric Gaillard)
Iraqi migrant Khalid Badri (left), his daughter Meriem (center) and his son Walid (right) arrive at the Moorish-style Hotel Mozart, owned by Moroccan-born Ben Abderrahman, in central Brussels September 21, 2015. The popular 47-room Brussels hotel is housing asylum-seekers free of charge, offering a brief respite for exhausted families who are camped in a park waiting for immigration papers. Abderrahman said that each morning he drives to the migrant camp run by volunteers in central Brussels to offer nights in his hotel. (REUTERS/Yves Herman)
A Croatian police officer stops migrants at the railway station in Tovarnik, Croatia, September 28, 2015. (REUTERS/Antonio Bronic)
A migrant builds the roof of a new mosque among tents in the "New Jungle" make-shift camp in Calais, northern France, October 14, 2015. (REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer)
Migrants are escorted by German police to a registration center, after crossing the Austrian-German border in Wegscheid near Passau, Germany, November 1, 2015. (REUTERS/Michael Dalder)
A migrant holding a baby steps off a bus with depictions of ancient Greek gods as he arrives at a camp before crossing Greece's border with Macedonia near the Greek village of Idomeni, November 10, 2015. (REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis)
A worker walks past a modular container at a plant in the town of Javornik, Czech Republic, November 11, 2015. Due to an extended immigration wave into Europe, several German companies have ordered a production of modular containers. The Czech firm Warex develops new types of a container which can be used in various weather conditions. (REUTERS/David W Cerny)
Public toilets are seen at Azraq refugee camp near Al Azraq city, Jordan, October 19, 2015.(REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)
A Cuban migrant waits for transport after receiving a humanitarian visa at a border post with Panama in Paso Canoas, Costa Rica, November 15, 2015. (REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate)
A Cuban migrant shouts "Cuba" after crossing the border from Colombia through the jungle as tourists stand by in La Miel, in the province of Guna Yala, Panama, December 2, 2015. Scores of Cubans have come to Panama as they seek overland passage towards the United States fearing a recent detente between Washington and Havana could end their preferential treatment. (REUTERS/Carlos Jasso)
A Cuban migrant woman receives her passport with a visa granted by the immigration office at the border post with Panama in Paso Canoas, Costa Rica, November 14, 2015. (REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate)
Children of migrants play next to tents in a shelter for migrants inside a hangar of the former Tempelhof airport in Berlin, Germany, December 9, 2015. (REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch)

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