World Refugee Day, observed on 20 June every year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world. Every day, thousands of families are forced to flee war and violence, leaving everything behind – except their hopes and dreams for a safer future.

More than one million refugees and migrants arrived in the European Union in 2015, mostly from war-torn countries such as Syria and Iraq. However, the UN refugee agency expects fewer than 250,000 refugees and migrants to arrive in Europe via the Eastern Mediterranean in 2016. The flow of refugees via Greece effectively dried up after a string of border closures in the Balkans in February, and a deal in March between the European Union and Turkey to halt migration to Greece. Refugees and migrants have turned instead to the far longer and more dangerous sea crossing from Libya to Italy. Around 50,000 people have taken this route into Europe so far this year, resulting in more than 2,400 deaths.

To mark World Refugee Day 2016, IBTimes UK shares 60 powerful photos of people who fled their homes in an attempt to reach safety in the last 12 months.

2015 migrants
27 July 2015: Young men look out of the open door of a train carriage heading north from Gevgelija in Macedonia to Tabanovce, on the border with SerbiaDimitar Dilkoff/AFP
2015 migrants
9 August 2015: Syrian refugees take selfies moments after arriving on an overcrowded dinghy on a beach on the Greek island of Kos, after crossing a part of the Aegean sea from TurkeyYannis Behrakis/Reuters
2015 migrants
11 August 2015: A dinghy overcrowded with Syrian refugees drifts in the Aegean sea between Turkey and Greece, after its motor broke down off the Greek island of KosYannis Behrakis/Reuters
2015 migrants
11 August 2015: Syrian refugees pack the stands inside the national stadium on the Greek island of Kos, as local authorities struggle to cope with the increasing numbers of migrants and refugees arriving in dinghies from the nearby Turkish coastYannis Behrakis/Reuters
2015 migrants
12 August 2015: Refugees check their mobile phones after getting out of an inflatable boat on a beach on the Greek island of KosAngelos Tzortzinis/AFP
2015 migrants
13 August 2015: A young Syrian child looks at the camera as refugees arrive at a beach on the Greek island of Kos, after crossing a part of the Aegean sea from Turkey on a dinghyMilos Bicanski/Getty Images
2015 migrants
14 August 2015: Two Syrian refugees watch the passenger ship Eleftherios Venizelos back into the quay on the Greek island of KosMilos Bicanski/Getty Images
2015 migrants
15 August 2015: A dinghy with Syrian refugees arrives at a beach on the Greek island of KosMilos Bicanski/Getty Images
2015 migrants
20 August 2015: Police in Piraeus, near Athens, watch the arrival of Eleftherios Venizelos passenger ship that carries refugees from several Greek IslandsMilos Bicanski/Getty Images
2015 migrants
27 August 2015: Syrian refugees go under a fence, crossing into Hungary at the border with Serbia near RoszkeBernadett Szabo/Reuters
2015 migrants
28 August 2015: Hungarian police detain a Syrian migrant family after they enter Hungary at the border with SerbiaBernadett Szabo/Reuters
2015 migrants
31 August 2015: Migrants from Pakistan land on the Greek island of Kos, after completing a journey in a small dinghy to cross a three-mile stretch of the Aegean Sea from TurkeyDan Kitwood/Getty Images
2015 migrants
1 September 2015: A boy wears a German police officer's cap as migrants and refugees wait for a bus, after their arrival at the main train station in Munich, southern GermanyChristof Stache/AFP
News photos of the year 2015
2 September 2015: A Turkish police officer carries the body of a Syrian refugee child named Alan Kurdi – who washed up on a beach in Bodrum, Turkey – after a boat sank while reaching the Greek island of KosNilufer Demir/AFP
2015 migrants
3 September 2015: Hungarian police stop a family of refugees as they attempt to run away at the railway station in the town of BicskeLaszlo Balogh/Reuters
2015 migrants
7 September 2015: Migrants and refugees cross into Hungary, walking over railroad tracks at the Serbian borderDan Kitwood/Getty Images
2015 migrants
8 September 2015: TV camerawoman Petra Laszlo trips a man carrying a child as they try to escape from a collection point in Roszke, Hungary. Laszlo was fired after videos of her kicking and tripping up migrants fleeing police spread in the media and on the internetMarko Djurica/Reuters
2015 migrants
9 September 2015: Migrants' and refugees' tents are blown away by the wind near a collection point in the village of Roszke, HungaryMarko Djurica/Reuters
2015 migrants
10 September 2015: A Syrian refugee kisses his daughter as he walks through a rainstorm towards Greece's border with MacedoniaYannis Behrakis/Reuters
2015 migrants
10 September 2015: Migrants and refugees beg Macedonian policemen to allow passage to cross the border from Greece into Macedonia during a rainstormYannis Behrakis/Reuters
2015 migrants
11 September 2015: A Hungarian policeman pleads with migrants to move away as the bus they are clamouring to get on is fullChristopher Furlong/Getty Images
2015 migrants
12 September 2015: A Syrian refugee holding a baby swims towards the Greek island of LesbosAlkis Konstantinidis/Reuters
2015 migrants
13 September 2015: A young boy wraps up to keep warm as he wakes up to a cold morning at the Hungarian border with SerbiaChristopher Furlong/Getty Images
2015 migrants
17 September 2015: A man holds his crying child close as migrants and refugees force their way through police lines at Tovarnik station for a train to take them to Zagreb in CroatiaJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
2015 migrants
20 September 2015: Migrants and refugees desperately try to board a train heading for Zagreb from Tovarnik station in CroatiaJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
2015 migrants
21 September 2015: A man and his child peek out of a train window as other migrants and refugees board the train heading to Serbia after crossing the Greek-Macedonian border near GevgelijaNikolai Doychinov/AFP
2015 migrants
16 October 2015: A child stands beside other migrants and refugees inside a tent as they wait to cross the border with Croatia near the village of Berkasovo, SerbiaMarko Djurica/Reuters
2015 migrants
20 October 2015: An Afghan family embrace each other upon arriving at a beach on the Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing a part of the Aegean Sea from the Turkish coast on an overcrowded raftYannis Behrakis/Reuters
2015 migrants
20 October 2015: A young Syrian refugee carries his disabled relative at the port of Piraeus as they walk with other migrants and asylum seekers to find transportation to central Athens or continue towards the Greek-Macedonian borderLouisa Gouliamaki/AFP
2015 migrants
22 October 2015: An Afghan man walks through rain and fog on his way to the nearest registration camp on the Greek island of LesbosYannis Behrakis/Reuters
2015 migrants
23 October 2015: Migrants are escorted by police from the village of Rigonce to Brezice refugee camp in SloveniaJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
2015 migrants
30 October 2015: A refugee prepares to hand over a toddler to a volunteer lifeguard as a half-sunken catamaran – carrying around 150 refugees, most of them Syrians – arrives on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing part of the Aegean sea from TurkeyGiorgos Moutafis/Reuters
2015 migrants
1 November 2015: The hand of a dead man is pictured on a beach of the Greek island of Lesbos after boats sank while transporting migrants and refugees attempting to cross the Aegean sea from TurkeyAris Messinis/AFP
News photos of the year 2015
23 November 2015: An Iranian migrant – with his lips sewn together – sits on rail tracks at the border between Greece and Macedonia as Balkan countries begin filtering the flow of migrants to Europe, granting passage to those fleeing conflict in Syria and Afghanistan but turning back others from Africa and AsiaYannis Behrakis/Reuters
2015 migrants
26 November 2015: A man is chased by Macedonian police officers after he tried to cross the Greek-Macedonian border. Countries along the Balkan route taken by hundreds of thousands of migrants seeking refuge in western Europe began filtering the flow, granting passage only to those fleeing conflict in Syria, Iraq and AfghanistanYannis Behrakis/Reuters
2015 migrants
3 December 2015: A stranded migrant holding a baby shouts near a Greek police cordon following scuffles at the Greek-Macedonian borderAlexandros Avramidis/Reuters
World Refugee Day
6 January 2016: A young Kurdish girl holds her toys as she stands in the mud at a camp in Dunkirk, FranceCarl Court/Getty Images
World Refugee Day
14 January 2016: Syrian refugees, stuck in no man's land, wait to cross into JordanKhalil Mazraawi/AFP
World Refugee Day
18 January 2016: Refugees walk through a frozen field after crossing the border from Macedonia into SerbiaMarko Djurica/Reuters
World Refugee Day
18 January 2016: A man carrying his belongings walks across a snow-covered field, after crossing the Macedonian border into SerbiaDimitar Dilkoff/AFP
World Refugee Day
30 January 2016: A man stands by the body of a child washed up on a beach in Canakkale wafter a boat sank in the Aegean Sea while refugees and migrants were trying to cross from Turkey to GreeceOzan Kose/AFP
World Refugee Day
6 February 2016: An Iraqi boy rests in a car in a refugee camp in the village of Mabrouka, SyriaRodi Said/Reuters
World Refugee Day
10 February 2016: A woman looks through a train window as migrants and refugees wait for their train to leave Slavonski Brod in Croatia and head to SloveniaDarrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters
World Refugee Day
1 March 2016: A young Afghan films burning shacks at the so-called Jungle camp in CalaisPhilippe Huguen/AFP
World Refugee Day
7 March 2016: A child stands among razor wire close to a gate at the Greek-Macedonian borderDimitar Dilkoff/AFP
World Refugee Day
8 March 2016: A man burns a pair of trousers to make a bonfire on a foggy morning near the Greek village of Idomeni where thousands of refugees and migrants are strandedDimitar Dilkoff/AFP
World Refugee Day
10 March 2016: A man lights a bonfire in a makeshift camp at the Greek-Macedonian border during the Balkan blockadeDimitar Dilkoff/AFP
World Refugee Day
14 March 2016: People wade across a river in a desperate attempt to cross the closed Greek-Macedonian borderStoyan Nenov/Reuters
World Refugee Day
15 March 2016: Refugee children play with a stuffed toy in a muddy makeshift camp at the Greek-Macedonian borderAlexandros Avramidis/Reuters
World Refugee Day
20 March 2016: A child stands in a field near a makeshift camp at the Greek-Macedonian borderAndrej Isakovic/AFP
World Refugee Day
24 March 2016: Two boys peer out from inside a tent marked with the slogan 'Open the Border' at a makeshift camp occupied by migrants and refugees near the village of IdomeniAndrej Isakovic/AFP
World Refugee Day
24 March 2016: Boys hold placards while stranded at the Greek-Macedonoan border, two days after a triple bomb attack in BrusselsAndrej Isakovic/AFP
World Refugee Day
7 April 2016: A Macedonian policeman uses his baton to prevent migrants and refugees from breaking through a fence on the Greek-Macedonian borderMarko Djurica/Reuters
World Refugee Day
16 April 2016: A boy holds a placard reading 'Let me go to daddy please' at the Moria detention centre on the Greek island of LesbosAris Messinis/AFP
World Refugee Day
17 April 2016: Children look to the sky as they play with a kite in a field near the Greek-Macedonian borderStoyan Nenov/Reuters
World Refugee Day
27 April 2016: An elderly woman and her granddaughter sit outside their tent in a makeshift camp for migrants and refugees at the Greek-Macedonian borderJoe Klamar/AFP
World Refugee Day
1 May 2016: A woman passes a map at a makeshift camp for migrants and refugees near the village of IdomeniTobias Schwarz/AFP
World Refugee Day
4 May 2016: Children's shadows are seen near graffiti in a makeshift camp for migrants and refugees on the Greek-Macedonian borderTobias Schwarz/AFP
World Refugee Day
24 May 2016: Men react after being rescued off the coast of Libya by the Aquarius, a former North Atlantic fisheries protection ship now used by humanitarians SOS Mediterranee and Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders)Gabriel Bouys/AFP
World Refugee Day
26 May 2016: Rescued men protect themselves from the cold with blankets as they wait to arrive in the port of Cagliari, Sardinia, two days after their rescue off the Libyan coastGabriel Bouys/AFP

To learn how you can help send a message to governments that they must do their fair share for refugees, visit the UN World Refugee Day site here.