For the past 20 years, thousands of migrants and refugees from Sub-Saharan and North Africa have tried to use the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla as a gateway to Europe.
The coastal towns, which border Morocco but are autonomous Spanish cities, are the only land borders between the European Union and the African mainland. But crossing the border is a treacherous journey, as it is lined with trenches, watch towers, night-vision cameras, strong lights and a massive fence.
The construction of a 7.5-mile border fence between Morocco and Melilla was completed in 1999. Photojournalist Sergi Cámara has traveled there for more than 10 years to document the attempts of migrants and refugees to cross over to Spain through the gigantic barrier.
Cámara is on a mission to tell the world of the human rights violations taking place in the border region. In an interview with HuffPost Greece, he said that African migrants and refugees hiding out in the hills outside Melilla told him about beatings, injuries, rapes and even deaths.
“Through my photographs, I aspire to document the violations of human rights as well as the results of the border policies currently being implemented,” the photographer said.
Cámara said the migrants and refugees camp in groups, often together with fellow countrymen. They organize to cross together, mostly at night, and target the most vulnerable parts of the fence. They are well aware that most of them will not make it to the other side.
"Life in Morocco for migrants is really hard," Cámara added. "They feel they can catch a glimpse of heaven in front of them while hell itself is right at their back."
See more of Cámara's photos below:
This story originally appeared on HuffPost Greece and was translated into English.