Heartbreaking images of the refugee crisis that's crippling Europe

Earlier this month, an image of a drowned Syrian toddler made the front pages of newspapers across Europe. The picture was emblematic of a crisis that has been plaguing the continent for years.

This year, it’s estimated that Germany will grant asylum to over 800,000 refugees. Hungary, by contrast, will build a fences to keep them out. And Britain is slowly starting to accept them in small numbers. Europe has become a continent divided.

As civil wars and conflict with the Islamic State (ISIS) ravage their home countries, desperate refugees see Europe as a beacon of hope where they can rebuild their lives.

This is their story in pictures.

The growing popularity of the route also contributes to the explosion in refugee numbers. In 2010, there were 2,370 illegal border crossings on the route, in 2014, there were 43,000 -- that number continues to rise.

A baby cries during scuffles between Afghan and Syrian refugees over priority for a registration procedure at the port of Mytilene on the Greek island of Lesbos, September 6, 2015. Greece is struggling to cope with the hundreds of migrants and refugees from the war in Syria making the short crossing every day from Turkey to Greece's eastern islands, including Kos, Lesbos, Samos and Agathonisi.
A baby cries during scuffles between Afghan and Syrian refugees over priority for a registration procedure at the port of Mytilene on the Greek island of Lesbos, September 6, 2015.

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