Detention of children in Dungavel must end

SNP MSP Christina McKelvie has called on the UK Government to guarantee no children will be detained in Dungavel.


The UK Government has so far failed to confirm that detention of children at Dungavel will end or how many children are currently detained there.

Her call comes as the UK Government announced new procedures for detaining children of asylum seekers.  Under the SNP the Scottish Government is to take part in a pilot scheme housing asylum seeking families in communities instead of detention centres.


Ms McKelvie, who has campaigned on the issue of the detention of children at Dungavel, wrote to the Scottish Secretary in October last year after he announced the pilot asking for such a guarantee. She has still to receive a reply.
Commenting Ms McKelvie said:
"Any moves that lead to the end of detaining children at Dungavel are to be welcomed but questions still remain about whether this will mean that no child at all will be held at Dungave l and whether there are children in Dungavel now.
"I wrote to the Scottish Secretary when he announced this pilot asking if he could guarantee that no child would be held in Dungavel. I am still awaiting a reply. 
"The SNP has had a long-standing commitment to ending this practice and has repeatedly called on the UK Government to act - not only in practice but in law through the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
"This decision for a pilot should mean that Dungavel will no longer be used to imprison innocent children beside potentially dangerous adults. However the silence from Jim Murphy on this issue only raises suspicions."

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