It’s a crisis of record proportions that is being met with global “callous indifference” and failed, dehumanizing responses, human rights experts say.

The crisis, described as Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War Two, involves hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict, many from Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, trying to reach safety in Europe.

For some, the journey reaches a fatal end. As the Associated Press notes, the deaths come “by land and sea.”

Austrian officials said Friday that 71 likely Syrian refugees, including eight women and three children, died in the back of a truck that was abandoned in Hungary.

Katerina Kratzmann, International Organization for Migration (IOM) Austria’s Chief of Mission, descibed the scene: “When the police arrived, liquid of decay was already running out of the truck. The police think that the people died approximately between 36 and 48 hours before and that some might have been dead already when crossing the border from Hungary.”

And in Libya, up to 200 people are feared dead after a refugee-filled boat sank Thursday off the country’s coast. Libya, Reuters reports, “has turned into a transit route for migrants fleeing conflict and poverty to make it to Europe.”

The UN Refugee Agency says that the number of refugees crossing the Mediterranean this year has now exceeded 300,000, and the IOM said this week that nearly 2,400 people have died so far this year trying to reach Europe by sea.

Caritas Europa called the deaths from these latest tragedies avoidable, adding, “‘Fortress Europe’ is steadily transforming into ‘Undertaker Europe.'”

For those that are able to reach Europe alive, no warm welcome awaits. The Toronto Star notes in an editorial this week:

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT