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Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre: Children

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland with reference to the announcement by his Department of 23 October 2008 on a pilot of an alternative to detention for children at Dungavel, when he expects the pilot to be operational. (232944)

I expect the Glasgow Alternatives to Detention pilot to be operational in early 2009. The exact date for commencement of the pilot will depend on the outcomes of ongoing discussions with our partners.

We are keen to minimise the detention of children where possible, and deal with the return of families in an appropriate and sensitive manner. The procedure will empower the families to make informed decisions on a return home through voluntary departure, and hopefully reduce the need for the enforced removals.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how long the trial for the pilot of an alternative to detention for children at Dungavel will last. (232950)

The Glasgow Alternatives to Detention pilot is expected to last 18 months, although this will be kept under review once the pilot is operational.