Children stay at immigration centre

Children will continue to be held at an asylum detention centre while a review is carried out, it has emerged.

The new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition Government has pledged to end the detention of children at Dungavel in Lanarkshire.

It is launching a review of the practice but said that while it is under way, current policy remains in place.

Today, a Pakistani woman and her eight-month-old baby were detained there.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: “Our coalition Government is committed to ending the detention of children for immigration purposes.

“I hope that we can have plans agreed within the next few months. Whilst this immediate review is ongoing, current policy remains in place.

“I am launching a comprehensive review of alternatives to child detention, including opening a dialogue with relevant stakeholders, organisations and experts.

“This work has already started because it is in all our interests, including those children currently in detention, to do it quickly, but to also do it well and safely.”

He added: “While keeping children’s welfare at the heart of what we do, our Government is committed to returning those with no right to stay in the UK.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott described the detention of children at Dungavel as “shameful and unacceptable” and welcomed the Government`s pledge.

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