SNP act on asylum family detention
Published Date: 11 October 2007
Source: Press Association
Location: The Press Association Newsdesk
The Scottish Government is to press Westminster for an end to the detention of families with children at Dungavel, it has been confirmed.
Education secretary Fiona Hyslop will set out the SNP administration's position on asylum, including opposition to dawn raids, in a meeting with minister of state Liam Byrne at the Home Office.
Immigration is the responsibility of Westminster and lies with the Home Office.
Ms Hyslop will push the case for alternatives to family detention, currently being piloted in England, to be used in Scotland.
While in opposition she called for an end to children and their families
being “locked up” at the Dungavel removal centre in South Lanarkshire, before they are returned to their country of origin.
She said: “Asylum seekers must be treated fairly and humanely, particularly when children are involved.
“That's why the Scottish Government is opposed to the detention of children at Dungavel and why we will be pressing for alternatives being piloted in England to be extended north of the border.”
The English pilots are being run in conjunction with non-government organisations.
They work with families to help them plan for their return home without needing to detain them in immigration removal centres like Dungavel.
As well as reducing the number of children going into such centres, the scheme is also aimed at increasing the number of families choosing to return home voluntarily.