Migrants in a shelter
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How Lampedusa is housing its migrant population

17 October 2013 Last updated at 10:23 BST

Desperate refugees who take to dangerous boats to flee Africa and try to seek asylum in Europe are living in cramped conditions on a tiny Mediterranean island while they await their fate.

Many of the survivors are now being held on the Italian island of Lampedusa while their asylum applications are dealt with.

But the facilities to house them are being severely stretched and many have taken to sleeping outside.

Alan Johnson reports.