The refugee crisis occupies many fronts: wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria; perilous sea-routes across the Mediterranean; the rugged road through the Balkans; makeshift camps in western Europe. Hundreds of thousands pour towards the 'Promised Land' of the West, fleeing violence, persecution and poverty. More people are now displaced than at any time since World War II. And still the exodus continues.
Hungary, lying on the direct route to Germany, has become a focal point. More than 2,000 refugees everyday have passed through the small town of Rozske on the country's border with Serbia. Over the summer, Viktor Orbán’s right-wing government launched a bid to stem the immense tide of humanity by fortifying the southern frontier with a razor-wire fence.
Roszke, September 02 2015 - Roszke - Hungarian police officers stopped refugees to cross the border from Serbia © Pierre Crom
Thousands, however, simply made for the point where a railway line passes through the barrier. Some took bolt cutters to the fence; others used blankets and sleeping bags to cover it before climbing over to resume their long journey.
Fear and confusion dominated, fuelled by a lack of information and fractured, contradictory policies of EU countries. Many refugees in Rozske were scared of registering in nearby centres, concerned that they would be detained or sent back. Those who opted to register faced long delays and chaotic conditions.
Budapest, September 02 2015 - Hundreds of refugees are stuck at the Keleti train station. © Pierre Crom
Refugees - among them families with young children and elderly grandparents - were camped outside Budapest's increasingly squalid Keleti Station. Desperate, homeless and barred from boarding trains without papers. they spent days in limbo. They eventually reached breaking point and set off to a highway on foot to commence a journey of more than 100 miles to Austria.
The crisis shows no sign of abating. Indeed, it is expected to intensify over the coming months as Syria's cataclysmic war rages on and European leaders remain divided on how to deal with the influx. All too easily, the plight of individual refugees is obscured by apathy, hand-wringing and xenophobia. The statistics defy comprehension. We all now face the impossibility of balancing our own fortune with the sheer scale of human suffering to wash upon our shores.
Bicske, September 04 2015 - Refugees refuse to leave a train as they fear registration in Hungary. © Pierre Crom
Bicske, September 04 2015 - Hungarian anti-riot forces arrive at the train station. Refugees refuse to leave a train as they fear registration in Hungary. © Pierre Crom
Bicske, September 04 2015 - Refugees react as anti-riot forces surround the train. Refugees refuse to leave a train as they fear registration in Hungary. © Pierre Crom
Bicske, September 04 2015 - A refugee from Pakistan died despite medical assistance. The victim felt on his head while running away for Hungarian forces. © Pierre Crom
Roszke, September 07 2015 - A refugee runs to a forest after crossing the border into Hungary. © Pierre Crom
Roszke, September 06 2015 - Refugees wait for a bus to a nearby registration center after crossing the border from Serbia. © Pierre Crom
Roszke, September 09 2015 - Refugees try to avoid registration in Hungary after crossing the border with Serbia. © Pierre Crom