10:50, 25 March 2017
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2016: The year the world stopped caring about refugees

The number of refugees who drowned in the Mediterranean

this year rose to an annual record. More than 5,000 people lost their lives at sea as they took on perilous journeys to escape war, poverty, and persecution - often all three. In 2015, some 3,771 refugees died while crossing the Mediterranean, up from 3,279 deaths the year before. In short, 2016 has not been an easy year. A toddler was the first refugee to die in the Mediterranean in the deadliest January on record. In March the Balkan route was permanently shut, trapping tens of thousands of asylum seekers in Greece and slowing Aegean Sea crossings to a trickle. In May Kenyadeclared it would close Dadaab, the world's largest refugee camp. In June Britain voted to leave the European Union, thanks in large measure to a campaign run by the anti-immigration United Kingdom Independence Party which stoked fears over incoming refugees. In August, a leak revealed that refugee children were being sexually assaulted at Australia's Nauru prison camp. Deportations of Afghan refugees from Pakistan swelled this year, with 100,000 repatriated in September alone. In October theEU cleared a deal to deport an unlimited number of Afghan refugees from Europe, and in November the United States voted for Donald Trump, the Republicanpresidential candidate who consistently berated refugees during his campaign. However, the refugee crisis is now often spoken of in terms of economics and security - especially during election season - as opposed to empathy.