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Daily life in Europe's refugee camps

A look at how thousands of people from the Middle East and Africa spend their days in refugee camps in Greece, France and Serbia.

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James Martin
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1 of 75 James Martin/CNET

Modular housing units at the Kara Tepe refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesvos.

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2 of 75 James Martin/CNET

A man living in a former taxi stand in Athens' abandoned Ellikon airport watches a movie on his mobile phone.

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3 of 75 Shara Tibken/CNET

In September 2015, Hungary built a massive fence to block refugees from entering the country. Topped by razor wire and rising 10 feet high, the fence stretches 181 miles along the Hungary-Serbia border and part of Hungary's border with Croatia. Some refugees in the Horgos border camp hang clothes to dry on the fence, as well as solar lamps.

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4 of 75 James Martin/CNET

Shipping container pods provide clean water and facilities for showering and drinking water in the Diavata camp near Thessaloniki, Greece.

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5 of 75 James Martin/CNET

A man shaves under an overpass at a semi-official camp in Athens' port, Piraeus. Greek authorities evacuated the camp five weeks after our reporters' visit in June.

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6 of 75 James Martin/CNET

A typical meal handed out by aid agencies at the Diavata camp, in northern Greece.

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7 of 75 James Martin/CNET

Aid organizations set up a portable shower unit in Piraeus.

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8 of 75 Shara Tibken/CNET

One refugee gives a haircut to another in a makeshift refugee camp on the border between Serbia and Hungary.

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9 of 75 James Martin/CNET

Three men seek shelter from the extreme heat of Diavata, near Thessaloniki, Greece.

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10 of 75 James Martin/CNET

It's hot in Diavata in June, forcing people to spend as much time as possible in the shade.

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11 of 75 James Martin/CNET

Kids splash in an inflatable pool to get some relief from Piraeus' 100 degree heat.

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12 of 75 James Martin/CNET

A map at the front gate of Kara Tepe on Lesvos, Greece, shows the locations for power, water and Wi-Fi.

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13 of 75 James Martin/CNET

A typical housing pod from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) at Diavata.

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14 of 75 James Martin/CNET

Men gather outside a tent in Piraeus while waiting for their phones to charge.

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15 of 75 Shara Tibken/CNET

Refugees living in Horgos, the Serbian camp on the Hungarian border, cook their own meals using campfires.

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16 of 75 James Martin/CNET

Kids can have fun anywhere. In this case, it's in Athens' old Ellinikon airport, where thousands of refugees and migrants now live.

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17 of 75 James Martin/CNET

Red Cross workers at the Kara Tepe camp entertain a young boy with a game of pattycake.

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18 of 75 Stephen Shankland/CNET

A pop-up bike shop in the Jungle, outside Calais, France.

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19 of 75 Shara Tibken/CNET

An Afghan boy built a toy truck using discarded solar-lamp boxes and Band-Aids.

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Inside what was once a storage building near Athens' port of Piraeus, a boy fills a tub of water to play with outside.

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21 of 75 Shara Tibken/CNET

People living in Horgos, the Serbian refugee camp on the Hungarian border, try to recreate something of the homes they left behind. A family of five lives in this tent.

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22 of 75 Shara Tibken/CNET

A week-old baby boy sleeps in a tent in Horgos, on the border between Serbia and Hungary.

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23 of 75 James Martin/CNET

Art can show up in unexpected places, like the walls of old Ellinikon International Airport outside of Athens.

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24 of 75 James Martin/CNET

It's easy to spot tents provided by the UNHRC, like this one in Diavata in northern Greece.

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25 of 75 Shara Tibken/CNET

Info Park, a refugee aid center in Belgrade, provides meals to refugees each day. Volunteers can work with the group for as little or as long as they want.

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26 of 75 James Martin/CNET

Colorful carpets create a space to pray inside the departure terminal of' Ellinikon airport, near Athens.

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27 of 75 Joan Solsman/CNET

Music provides a diversion for the men who camp near Belgrade's bus station.

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28 of 75 Stephen Shankland/CNET

People living in the Jungle, near Calais, France, can buy food along the camp's "high street."

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29 of 75 Stephen Shankland/CNET

A young boy smiles for the camera in a newly built container camp near Calais, France.

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30 of 75 Stephen Shankland/CNET

A sign in a container camp near Calais shows which days clothing like shirts, pants, jackets, shoes and socks are available from aid agencies.

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A fresh water station in Calais, France, just a few miles away from the English Channel.

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32 of 75 Stephen Shankland/CNET

A makeshift mosque in a refugee camp near Calais.

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33 of 75 Shara Tibken/CNET

Refugees in Belgrade gather around a power strip provided by aid center Info Park to charge their phones.

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34 of 75 James Martin/CNET

A typical living space in the Diavata camp.

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35 of 75 James Martin/CNET

A man pushes his daughter in a stroller down Kara Tepe's main road.

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36 of 75 James Martin/CNET

For people everywhere, phones hold a digital record of what matters, from documents to photos and music.

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A store inside a Calais container camp sells a range of food and drinks.

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38 of 75 James Martin/CNET

Two women return to Diavata, in northern Greece, after traveling to town for supplies.

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39 of 75 Shara Tibken/CNET

One of the biggest tents in the Horgos camp on the border of Serbia and Hungary serves as the mosque.

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40 of 75 James Martin/CNET

A row of portable toilets and a hand-washing station inside the Diavata camp.

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41 of 75 James Martin/CNET

Refugees living in Kara Tepe can tap into solar power to charge their phones.

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42 of 75 James Martin/CNET

Ellinikon airport has the advantage of permanent bathrooms, like these in the departures terminal.

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43 of 75 James Martin/CNET

A flimsy nylon tent offers some relief from the sun in Moria, one of two refugee camps on Lesvos.

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44 of 75 James Martin/CNET

The now shuttered Indomeni refugee camp, on the northern border of Greece and Macedonia, once held thousands of people, which explains why a sign tells parents to write their phone number and name on their children's arms.

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45 of 75 Stephen Shankland/CNET

A container camp in Calais, France offers fresh running water.

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46 of 75 James Martin/CNET

For a time, 3,000 migrants set up camp at an Eko gas station just a few miles from the Macedonia-Greece border. Tents, old clothes, a child's coloring book and piles of trash are all that's left.

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47 of 75 James Martin/CNET

Refugees and migrants living in Ellinikon airport have to haul water back to their shelters. This 15-liter UNHCR bucket holds enough water to last a family a whole day.

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48 of 75 James Martin/CNET

An aid worker gives some time, attention -- and nail painting -- to young children living in Ellinikon.

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49 of 75 James Martin/CNET

Kids ride donated bikes around Ellinikon's large stretch of pavement.

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50 of 75 James Martin/CNET

A shipping pallet becomes one man's kitchen cabinet holding rags, bowls and pans outside a tent in Ellinikon.

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A look inside the Moria refugee facility on Lesvos.

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Kids ride bikes and scooters through an abandoned airport's narrow passages.

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53 of 75 James Martin/CNET

A mother walks with her son as she carries supplies back to her tent on the grounds of Ellinikon airport.

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A makeshift schoolhouse offers students a place to learn in a refugee camp near Calais.

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Like teens everywhere, talking on the phone helps this teen get through long hours of boredom at Ellinikon.

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56 of 75 James Martin/CNET

People gather near an aid station to pick up food and water distributed in Piraeus.

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57 of 75 James Martin/CNET

Laundry hangs to dry in Piraeus.

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This tent home Piraeus is carpeted and kept clean and organized.

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59 of 75 James Martin/CNET

With so little room, it's important to have a place for everything, like this cook stove and utensils.

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Common areas are often carpeted, with a socks-only policy for cleanliness.

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61 of 75 James Martin/CNET

Signs on a bathroom tell how to say "1 minute," "5 minutes," and "Go out please," in Arabic, Farsi and Kurdish.

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62 of 75 James Martin/CNET

Children in Piraeus play with anything they can make into a toy, like this heat blanket.

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A man stepped out of this bathroom inside the Moria refugee camp, smiled and yelled, "Hello, friend!"

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These two Syrian boys, who are living in the Kara Tepe Refugee Camp, traveled into town on Lesvos to do some fishing at the pier.

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65 of 75 James Martin/CNET

A new phone or SIM card, available here at a pop-up shop just outside the Moria camp on Lesvos, is one of the first things many refugees buy when they reach Greece.

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Typical housing set up from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) at Diavata.

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67 of 75 James Martin/CNET

A boy living in the Moria camp rides a bike that's missing its back tire.

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68 of 75 Shara Tibken/CNET

The Horgos camp enjoyed a technological breakthrough last month when an aid organization jury-rigged a system of plastic pipes that turned the single spigot of running water into five.

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69 of 75 James Martin/CNET

Games, toys, batteries, electric shavers and other necessities are for sale outside of Moria.

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A half dozen stands in front of Tara Kepe sell food and drinks to people living in the camp.

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A solar charging stations at a Red Cross booth in Kara Tepe.

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72 of 75 Shara TIbken/CNET

The Horgos camp on the border of Serbia and Hungary doesn't have showers, which means refugees have constructed huts out of branches and blankets to give each other privacy while sponge bathing.

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Aid workers unload donated clothes in Kara Tepe.

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Men relax while waiting for their phones to charge just outside Kara Tepe.

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In the City Plaza squat in Athens, hundreds of refugees live in an abandoned hotel. The kitchen is run entirely on donated food and resident volunteers cooks.

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