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UK in line of fire for `breaking promise’ against child detention

Scottish campaigners blame government after its unveiled new detention centre 29th August 2011: The UK Government is in line of fire for breaking its promise against the detention of children.
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The Scottish campaigners, in fact, blamed the government after it unveiled a new detention centre for holding the children of asylum seekers.

It is now apparent that while they await deportation families in Scotland from next week will be taken to Pease Pottage, in Sussex, for up to a week after the turning down of their application

The move comes even as the UK Government has brought to an end child detention at Dungavel, in Scotland, and Yarl’s Wood, in Bedfordshire. As of now the government is continuing with the process of holding them up at Tinsley House, also in Sussex.

Reacting to the development, director of Positive Action in Housing Robina Qureshi said: "The fact is the coalition government has said they would end child detention.

"Now they are opening Pease Pottage with all these amazing state-of-the-art facilities, but that does not get away from the fact they are still locking up children."

Positive Action in Housing supports families going through the asylum process. Qureshi said children’s charity Barnardo’s is saying they will counsel the children and the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

But one cannot counsel children for a week, particularly children that are taken out of their community and placed in a locked facility, with high walls and monitored 24 hours a day.

They would come out very different and very mistrustful of the adults around them. “We are very critical of Barnardo’s getting involved, they are giving credibility to the whole process,” she said

The move has also come under criticism by the SNP. It has criticised the Home Office for its failure to end child detention.

Christina McKelvie claimed she would soon be writing to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and seek a clarification on the centre.

She said: "The UK Government must make clear their position. The Lib Dems promised an end to child detention yet now they are opening a new centre that will detain children.

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