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  1. ITV Report

Refugees left in limbo as Europe's commitment to rehoming them grinds to a halt

Thousands of refugees remain stranded in Greece and Italy, often living in squalid conditions in camps some describe as a "prison".

For the small fraction of refugees who are eventually given passage to the mainland, their future remains equally as uncertain as Europe's commitment to rehoming them grinds to a halt.

Removing families from the terrible conditions on the island to the mainland does relieve the pressure on the camps temporarily, but it does not solve the problem long-term. It simply moves them to mainland Greece where they become just as stuck as there's no resettlement in other European countries.

Refugee families hardship does not end once they leave the camps for the mainland. Credit: ITV News

There had been a commitment to distribute 160,000 of the refugees in Greece and Italy around the EU, but only 30,000 have been so far been found new homes.

Among this number are hundreds of unaccompanied children who had survived the journey to Europe while their parents hadn't, or they become separation from them during their ordeal.

The Zugala family, Yazidis who fled so-called Islamic State massacres on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, are stuck in Athens waiting to be reunited with their 14-year-old-son Hassan.

He got separated from them during the panic of evacuation, but made it to Germany with another family. Almost two years later, despite commitments to family reunification, his family are still waiting to see him again.

Hassan was separated from his family while evacuating Iraq. Credit: ITV News

Britain had pledged to bring up to 3000 of unaccompanied children to safety in the UK under the Dubs amendment, but more than eighteen months later, only a few hundred have arrived in the country.

At a shelter in Athens there are unaccompanied minors who Britain promised to resettle under the Dubs agreement.

The first children brought to the UK under the agreement only arrived last week.

One young man at the shelter told ITV News he has been waiting for two years to be re-homed in the UK.

Lord Dubs, who gave his name to the Dubs agreement, is increasingly frustrated at how little is happening.

Lords Dubs says more needs to be done to bring refugee children to safety in the UK. Credit: ITV News

He told ITV News: "A lot more needs to be done. I think the Greek's are finding it hard to cope with the numbers and I think we should step in and do something.

"I've never argued we should take them all, I've argued we take our share. And we're no where near that."

And the British response is not unusual - refugees lucky enough to leave behind the squalor of the camps find a continent happy to leave them in limbo.