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Crossings

The Globe's series chronicling the global refugee and migrant experience

Nancy Solakian, a Syrian refugee who immigrated to Canada in search of a better life, with her mom Ani and sister Mery, left.

Nancy Solakian, a Syrian refugee who immigrated to Canada in search of a better life, with her mom Ani and sister Mery, left.

Courtesy of Solakian family

Europe's borders have been swamped by the arrival of more than three-quarters of a million asylum seekers since January; the European Union says it is expecting as many as three million more by the end of 2016.

Most are fleeing war zones such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. Others – sensing an opportunity to change not only their fortunes, but those of future generations – are leaving behind poverty-racked nations of Africa, South Asia and Central America.

Globally, some 60 million people are currently displaced from their homes, more than at any time since the Second World War. At least 3,400 have died or disappeared during their push toward Europe. The influx has strained social systems, and stirred up fresh anti-immigrant sentiment, even though many Western countries have ageing populations that badly need the injection of young workers the new arrivals could provide.

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In Crossings, The Globe and Mail explores this worldwide challenge, looking at the lives of the refugees who have reached Europe, those stuck in limbo in the camps of the Middle East, and those who are still trapped in their countries of origin and trying desperately to leave – or lack the means even to make the attempt. We also examine the root causes of the mass migration, the porous nature of international borders, the smugglers who facilitate and profit from this human tide, and explore the latest data on how a country can integrate new arrivals most effectively.

The series tells the stories of refugee families in pursuit of better lives:

For three Syrian brothers, a new life in Europe brings trials and triumph They survived civil war, Islamic State threats and a 3,400-kilometre trek. But life in Germany is no easy ride
How to avert extremism before it starts International expert and Globe columnist Doug Saunders has spent the last year researching approaches to building better communities.
‘In Canada, it’s freedom for us’ For a lucky few Rohingya, gaining refugee status in Canada has opened wonderful new avenues
False hope, no mercy for fleeing migrants While fleeing poverty and persecution, Rohingya in Myanmar and Bangladeshi often fall into the clutches of human traffickers
In the midst of Germany's refugee crisis, two lives intersect At a glance, German Max Saschowa, 75, and Syrian Khaled Allak, 22 are an odd pair, but they have more in common than first appears
How Syrians in Lebanon are living in limbo Life for Syrian refugees in Lebanon is becoming more and more desperate
Teen refugee is far from home, but dance traditions are kept close to heart For 19-year-old Nancy who moved to Canada in January, dancing with fellow Armenians keeps her connected to her culture.
New life comes with fears of illness for Hungarian refugees in Canada When Laszlo, a 16 year-old Roma from Hungary, and his family migrated to Canada in 2011, they learned first-hand how dire the health care situation was for refugees.
A nine-country scramble to freedom, through the eyes of a refugee We asked a young Afghan seeking a new life in Europe to take pictures of his family’s journey from Turkey to Switzerland. The photos tell his story.


Also from Crossings:

Finally, a selection of features and resources from earlier this year:

What happened to this family? Finding life jackets and passports at sea

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Balkan odyssey: A desperate journey through central Europe As thousands of Syrian and Iraqi refugees navigate through an increasingly inhospitable Central Europe, Mark MacKinnon joins a small group in Serbia on a desperate journey through Croatia to the Slovenian border
Menaced by gangs, El Salvador’s children are running for their lives Gang violence in El Salvador is so severe that parents are putting children as young as 9 in the hands of smugglers heading north. Stephanie Nolen reports on impossible choices in one of the world’s most violent nations
A primer for Canadians who want to sponsor refugees Sponsoring a refugee is one way to aid those displaced by war and violence – but it’s not something to be done lightly
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