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Photos: Refugees risk sea voyage in quest for safer life

A record number of migrants have risked crossing the Mediterranean Sea this year to escape conflict in their home countries, facing uncertainty but relative safety in Europe.

The Geneva-based International Organization for Migration said Friday that more than 430,000 refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe so far in 2015, more than double last year’s total.

Many risk traveling in rickety boats and 2,748 have drowned in the attempt, according to the IOM.

In one particular disaster, 34 refugees drown off the coast of the Greek island Lesbos — nearly half of them children — when their wooden boat capsized, Reuters reported.

The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child said the “shocking images” of desperate migrants trying to reach safe havens underscores the need for a coordinated approach that protects the children involved. European Union ministers met Monday to try to come up with a standard plan.

Germany, which expects to take in 1 million migrants this year, is tightening border security by conducting random vehicle checks along major roads bordering Austria.

Austria and Slovakia also have reintroduced border checks, while Hungary has erected a razor-wire border fence to try to keep out migrants making their way to other European countries.

Syrian and Afghan refugees fall into the sea after their dinghy deflated some 100m away before reaching the Greek island of Lesbos, September 13, 2015. Of the record total of 432,761 refugees and migrants making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year, an estimated 309,000 people had arrived by sea in Greece, the International Organization for Migration (IMO) said on Friday. About half of those crossing the Mediterranean are Syrians fleeing civil war, according to the United Nations refugee agency. Photo by Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Syrian and Afghan refugees fall into the sea after their dinghy deflated in the Mediterranean Sea on Sept. 13. Of the record total of 432,761 refugees and migrants making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year, an estimated 309,000 people had arrived by sea in Greece, the International Organization for Migration said. Photo by Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

A refugee reacts from exhaustion while swimming towards the shore after a dinghy carrying Syrian and Afghan refugees deflated some 100m away before reaching the Greek island of Lesbos, September 13, 2015. Of the record total of 432,761 refugees and migrants making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year, an estimated 309,000 people had arrived by sea in Greece, the International Organization for Migration (IMO) said on Friday. About half of those crossing the Mediterranean are Syrians fleeing civil war, according to the United Nations refugee agency. Photo by Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

A refugee swims toward the Greek island of Lesbos on Sept. 13. About half of those crossing the Mediterranean Sea are Syrians fleeing civil war, according to the U.N. refugee agency. Photo by Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Syrian and Afghan refugees fall into the sea after their dinghy deflated some 100m away before reaching the Greek island of Lesbos, September 13, 2015. Of the record total of 432,761 refugees and migrants making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year, an estimated 309,000 people had arrived by sea in Greece, the International Organization for Migration (IMO) said on Friday. About half of those crossing the Mediterranean are Syrians fleeing civil war, according to the United Nations refugee agency. Photo by Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Refugees are desperate to leave their conflict-ridden countries to reach Europe. Photo by Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

A refugee (2nd L) shouts as he swims towards the shore after a dinghy carrying Syrian and Afghan refugees deflated some 100m away before reaching the Greek island of Lesbos, September 13, 2015. Of the record total of 432,761 refugees and migrants making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year, an estimated 309,000 people had arrived by sea in Greece, the International Organization for Migration (IMO) said on Friday. About half of those crossing the Mediterranean are Syrians fleeing civil war, according to the United Nations refugee agency. Photo by Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

European nations have reacted in different ways to the surge in migrants, so the European Union is working on initiating a coordinated approach. Photo by Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

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