Some 60 people drowned after a fishing vessel carrying 100 migrants and asylum seekers, mostly Syrians, Iraqis and Palestinians trying to flee the violence in war-torn Syria, hit rocks off the coast of Turkey. This incident is a tragic illustration that desperate people will do anything in search of safety and a better life, including a perilous voyage at sea.
More than 58,000 people reached the shores of Europe, but more than 1500 people drowned or went missing in making the journey across the Mediterranean from North Africa.
As the 100 missing and presumed dead when a boat packed with refugees from Afghanistan and Pakistan sank south of Indonesia at the end of last week underscore, neither great distance nor unseaworthy boats has deterred determined people from risking their lives to escape violence and conflict in their countries.
It is hard not to be moved by the plight of those who are prepared to risk their lives in search of a better future. But unfortunately, as long as the countries of origin do not find durable solutions to the problems which force people to leave their homes, there is no easy answer.
This is an extract of an editorial in Malaysia's New Straits Times on Friday.