European Pressphoto Agency photographer Georgi Licovski won the annual contest on Dec. 17, for a shot he took in August on the border between Greece and Macedonia.
In the photo, two children cry as a group of migrants try to “break through” a line of Macedonian special police forces, according to the EPA.
“The situation was so horrible that for the first time in my life I saw my colleagues cry, shaken by what’s going on in front of their eyes,” Licovski wrote in an EPA blog post.
Some of the refugees sent women and children to the front of the line in hopes the Macedonian police would let them through, UNICEF said in a statement. In the confusion of the situation, some of the children were separated from their parents, Licovski said.