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Baby Still Held In Immigration Detention Centre

18/05/2010 08:23 | Updated 22 May 2015

Children are still being held at a detention centre for asylum seekers in Scotland, it has been reported.

The new Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government has promised to stop holding children at such centres.

However, the BBC says a Pakistani woman, Sehar Shebaz, and her eight-month-old daughter Wanya are being held at the Dungavel detention centre after they reported to officials in Glasgow on Monday.

A spokesman for the immigration minister Damian Green told the BBC that the current system will have to stay in place until the Home Office can consult on a replacement.

He 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."

He told the BBC there would be a comprehensive review of all the alternatives to detaining children.

"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 said.

"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."

However SNP MSP Christina McKelvie told the BBC: "Last week the Lib Dems claimed the detention of children at Dungavel had ended.

"Tonight an eight-month old baby is being held behind bars in Scotland in contrast to the claims of Lib Dems last week.

"Children should not find themselves behind bars in a humane immigration system and if the Lib Dems deal means anything Danny Alexander and Tavish Scott must act to ensure this child, and all others are not detained in Dungavel for one more day."

The BBC reports that last week, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, Tavish Scott, said the detention of children at Dungavel as "shameful" and praised the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition's commitment to stopping it.

Looks like he may have jumped the gun somewhat... it can't be that difficult to find alternatives. Why is it going to take months?

What do you think? Should this practice be stopped immediately?

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