Migrants walk along rail tracks on sunset close to a migrant collection point in Roszke Reuters/Laszlo Balogh

The images of a three-year-old dead Syrian boy, whose body washed up ashore after his boat capsized off the Turkish coast, was a wake up call for the world to the ongoing refugee crisis. But Syrians didn’t just start to flee this year, and there are many more children besides Aylan Kurdi who have died and had their images buried with them in the last half a decade.

The current crisis, which has left an indelible mark on humanity, has its roots in Syria’s Civil War, which marks its fifth year in 2015. Founded in an anti-government movement, the war very quickly morphed into a conflict with sectarian interests, a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions others.

In the timeline below, we explore the key events that led to today’s Europe refugee crisis, with a primary focus on the countries that Syrian refugees have fled to. Although Europe is now linked with the country’s large-scale displacement, it is Syria’s neighbouring countries which have had to deal with the strain of receiving refugees with limited resources and weak infrastructure.

While there is yet no end to the conflict in sight, everyone can play a part in helping the millions of refugees recover and rebuild their lives. To do so, check out these links:

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