Europe’s migration crisis – Five years on

Five years ago, in the summer of 2015, Europe faced its biggest migration crisis since the Second World War. Hundreds of thousands of desperate people fleeing war and economic hardship tried to reach the continent. The largest group of migrants making the perilous journey came from Syria, where four years of civil war had forced them to flee. President Bashar al-Assad’s forces had increased their attacks on opposition strongholds and the so-called Islamic State was gaining strength. But people from many other countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Eritrea, also left their homelands in search of a better future in Europe.
Faced with an unprecedented influx, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government decided to open Germany’s borders, and almost a million migrants claimed asylum here. As part of our series looking back on that summer five years ago, we met up with two of those migrants. In 2015 both were full of hope, but now they face very different futures.