Heart-rending pictures of a toddler's lifeless body washed ashore on a Turkish beach sparked horror on Wednesday as the cost of Europe's growing refugee crisis hit home.
The images of a tiny child lying face down in the surf at one of Turkey's main tourist resorts has once more put a human face on the dangers faced by tens of thousands of desperate people who risk life and limb to seek a new life in Europe.
Turkish gendarmerie stands next to a young migrant, who drowned in a failed attempt to sail to the Greek island of Kos, as he lies on the shore in the coastal town of Bodrum, Turkey, September 2, 2015. Reuters Photo
Wearing a red T-shirt and blue shorts, the child — identified as three-year-old Aylan Kurdi — is believed to be one of least 12 Syrians who died when their boats sank trying to reach Greece.
The bleak image spread like lightning through social media and dominated front pages from Spain to Sweden, with commentators unanimous it had rammed home the horrors faced by those fleeing war and conflict in the Middle East and Africa.
Circulating with the Turkish hashtag "#KiyiyaVuranInsanlik" ("Humanity washed ashore"), the picture made it to Twitter's top world trending topics.
"Tiny victim of a human catastrophe," said Britain's Daily Mail, while Italy's La Repubblica tweeted the words: "One photo to silence the world."
Here are a few other faces affected by the conflict in the Middle East:
A Syrian boy sleeps at a checkpoint near the Hungarian town of Roszke on Thursday, September 3, 2015 after crossing the border illegally from Serbia with his family. The 28-nation European Union has been at odds for months on how to deal with the influx of more than 332,000 migrants this year as Greece, Italy and Hungary have pleaded for more help. AP Photo
Children of Syrian refugees play at a makeshift camp in an underground station near the Keleti train station in Budapest, Hungary September 2, 2015. Reuters Photo
In this Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015 file photo, Syrian refugee children attend a class at a makeshift school set up in a tent at an informal tented settlement near the Syrian border on the outskirts of Mafraq, Jordan. AP Photo
A Syrian refugee child plays at an unofficial refugee camp in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, north of the capital Beirut, on September 2, 2015. AFP Photo
Syrian refugees stand at the entrance of their shelter at an unofficial refugee camp in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, north of the capital Beirut, on September 2, 2015. More than 13 million children are being denied an education by Middle East conflicts, the UN says, warning "the hopes of a generation" will be dashed if they cannot return to classrooms. AFP Photo
Syrian refugee children play at an unofficial refugee camp in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, north of the capital Beirut, on September 2, 2015. AFP Photo
Syrian refugees rest at a makeshift camp in an underground station near the Keleti train station in Budapest, Hungary September 2, 2015. Reuters Photo