Hundreds of mainly Syrian and Eritrean migrants remained blocked at Milan's central train station on Wednesday (17 June) as they tried to move north in order to cross the border and reach Germany and Austria.

Some of the Syrian migrants who are well dressed manage to pass the border on trains and leave Italy. But many who do not have the proper documents to leave the country are not allowed on the trains that would take them across the border.

Local volunteers and members of the local community are trying to organise food and drinks for the people, many who have now been at the station for days. A play area has been organised for the children, who are given sweets but little hope that their lives will soon improve.

"I try to help these people, I just want to help that is all, that is what being a volunteer is. We don't ask what colour their skin is," said Rosy, a volunteer as she handed out food.

Eritrean migrant Henok Ghirmai arrived in the Sicilian port of Augusta nine days ago after being rescued at sea. He is trying to get to Germany, where he says he has family members. "I'm afraid but I don't know what is going to happen next, I don't know, please God help," he said.

On 17 June, Pope Francis on called for respect for migrants and suggested "people and institutions" who close doors to them should seek forgiveness from God.

The Pope's appeal, made at the end of his weekly general audience, came amid a growing debate in Europe on how to deal with an immigrant crisis that has included clashes at the French-Italian border between police and migrants.

France, Italy and Germany agreed on 16 June to join forces to identify migrants arriving by sea and to swiftly relocate them across the European Union or send them back to their home countries if their claims for asylum in Europe are rejected.