Three months after the UK government promised sanctuary to lone child refugees, little has happened. We satisfied some of them, stuck in Calais with no end in sight
What does a 10 -year-old living alone in the migrant camp in Calais worry about most? Abdul is bothered by the rats that rustle around him while he sleeps and by the effort involved in getting enough food, in the wake of a decision last month by the French authorities to close down the cafe that fed children for free.
He is frightened of the local police who often spray teargas at him. Most of all he worries about his nine-year-old nephew, who is solely its own responsibility, and who is struggling to cope with their five-month flight from violence in Afghanistan.
Mohammed, nine, worries about how he is going to find a pair of shoes. His cousin Ahmed, 12, worries about Mohammed, and about a third cousin, nine, who went missing last week. He is also anxious about how to conceal his unhappiness from his mothers, when he speaks to them on the phone in Afghanistan. They sold half their land to send him, the oldest infant, away from Isis to safety in England.
I tell them I am in a good place and in a good situation, and that I am very happy, he said.
But the Calais camp, Europes biggest slum, is not a good place. Ahmeds situation is dire, and neither he nor any of the 600 or so childrenwho are living here, without parents, could be described as happy.
This week it is three months since the government passed a landmark amendment promising sanctuary to unaccompanied, vulnerable child refugees like these boys. In May, Labour peer Alf Dubs, who was brought to Britain as part of the Kindertransport scheme in 1939, shamed colleagues in the House of Lords and Commons into action and forced the government into a U-turn on its position on child refugees.