Refugee entry restrictions, along with tighter border controls that have been recently imposed by Austria and other Balkan states, have stalled but not stopped the ongoing flow of people who are travelling across Europe.

As a result of the ongoing crisis, many Schengen countries have temporarily reintroduced controls on some, if not all of their borders with other Schengen states. On 16 February 2016, Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway and Sweden announced that they were limiting the number of refugees who were allowed to pass through, leaving thousands of people stranded at the fences.

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People coming from Syria cross under a fence into Hungary at the border with Serbia, near Roszke on 27 August, 2015Bernardett Szabo/ Reuters

When Hungary built a razor-wire fence on its borders with Serbia and Croatia in 2015, the flow of refugees was redirected westward toward Slovenia. Tight border patrols and tough new Hungarian laws punishing illegal entry and border fence vandalism slowed down the amount of refugees allowed through the borders. Now illegal crossings into Hungary have sharply increased after other nations along the Balkans reduced the flow of people to only a few hundred a day and set new limits on their nationalities.

Afghans, who had passed freely before, were suddenly not being allowed to leave Greece, and no officials would say why, leaving tens of thousands of people stuck at its northern border, overflowing the refugee camp at Idomeni.

A regional Governor has since called on the Greek government to declare a state of emergency for the surrounding area of the Idomeni crossing, where around 13-14,000 people are trapped at the border that it shares with Macedonia, while another 6-7,000 are being housed in refugee camps around the region. Living conditions are worsening, and it is feared that another 18,000 refugees elsewhere in Greece will eventually join them.

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Boys sit inside a van after being pulled over by police on the highway near Gyor, Hungary on 6 September, 2015. After days of confrontation and chaos, Hungary deployed more than 100 buses overnight to take thousands of the migrants who had streamed there from southeast Europe to the Austrian frontierDavid W Cerny/ Reuters
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Refugees are sent back by Hungarian riot police at the border crossing with Serbia in Roszke, Hungary on 16 September, 2015Marko Djurica/ Reuters
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A wire fence is seen next to the village of Zdala, Croatia. Zdala is a village beside the border to Hungary, along which a wire fence was built by Hungarian soldiers to manage the flow of refugeesAntonio Bronic/ Reuters
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A teddy bear is placed on razor wire at the border crossing with the Hungarian town of Roszke, in Horgos, Serbia on 17 September 2015Marko Djurica/ Reuters
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Hungarian riot police hold a man at the border crossing with Serbia in Roszke, Hungary on 16 September, 2015. Hungarian police fired tear gas and water cannon at protesters, demanding they be allowed to enter from Serbia on the second day of a border crackdownMarko Djurica/ Reuters

Fellow EU leaders, long divided over how to end chaotic movements that have put Europe's Schengen open border system in jeopardy are pledging help to Athens cope with the backlog and seek assurances that Turkey, with NATO naval back-up in the Aegean, will stop people smugglers putting refugees to sea.

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The border fence runs across the landscape as families walk through fields towards the the Greek-Macedonia border in Idomeni, GreeceDan Kitwood/ Getty Images
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Children sit behind railings as they wait to cross the border at a refugee camp at the Greek-Macedonia border in Idomeni, GreeceDan Kitwood/ Getty Images
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A boy carries firewood down train tracks at a refugee camp at the Greek-Macedonia border in Idomeni, GreeceDan Kitwood/ Getty Images
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The border between Greece and Macedonia in Idomeni, GreeceDan Kitwood/ Getty Images
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The wire border fence that runs between Greece and Macedonia in Idomeni, GreeceDan Kitwood/ Getty Images

Smuggling opportunities have bloomed across the Balkan migrant route that goes through Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia before reaching Austria, with travellers not only risking their money, but their lives. In August 2015, Austrian authorities found 71 people, from 10 months to 56 years old, who suffocated in the airtight cargo of a truck that left Serbia, travelling via Hungary to Austria. Refugees are continuing to be smuggled into car boots or squeezed into secret compartments on trucks or buses, before driven along the same illegal smuggling routes used by drug traffickers. Others may be taken through regular border crossings where guards or custom officers are being bribed to turn a blind eye.

Still, there are others who are driven to the borders by traffickers, mostly taxi drivers, and are then left to cross the fences on their own. If they are lucky, they will be picked up again by another smuggler on the other side of the border after walking through forests or across frozen rivers. If not, they will be caught by border patrols.

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People wait to cross the border from Slovenia into Spielfeld in Austria, 16 February, 2016Leonhard Foeger/ Reuters
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A family walk through a field to Tovarnik station on their journey north despite moves by Slovenia and Hungary to hold them back in Tovarnik, CroatiaJeff J Mitchell/ Getty Images
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Hundreds of refugees wait for a train to Zagreb from Tovarnik station on their journey north despite moves by Slovenia and Hungary to hold them back in Tovarnik, CroatiaJeff J Mitchell/ Getty Images
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Croatian police officers prevent refugees from entering Croatia, in the Serbian-Croatian border, in Berkasovo, SerbiaElvis Barukcic/ AFP
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A woman from Syria waits to cross the border with Croatia near the village of Berkasovo, Serbia on 21 October, 2015Marko Djurica/ Reuters

A border fence, which separates neighbouring countries Morocco and Spain is frequently climbed by those travelling to the West. In 2014, 2,000 people made their way across Melilla, a tiny Spanish enclave on the northern coast of Morocco, before they reached the border fences. Roughly 60 attempts were made. Thousands of African immigrants living illegally in Morocco try to enter Spain's enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta each year, hoping to reach Europe.

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A golfer hits a tee shot as African migrants sit atop a border fence during an attempt to cross into Spanish territories between Morocco and Spain's north African enclave of Melilla on 22 October 2014. Around 400 people attempted to cross the border into Spain.Jose Palazon/ Reuters
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Mohamed from Togo heals wounds which he got as a result of trying to swim from Morocco to Spain and is now hiding in the mountains near Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta on 26 February, 2014. More than 200 people scaled the triple fence surrounding Spain's North African enclave of Melilla last week in another mass crossing of the heavily protected borderJuan Medina/ Reuters
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A man stands behind the fence of a Spanish government-run temporary immigrants holding centre in Spain's north African enclave Melilla on 23 March, 2014Juan Medina/ Reuters