7 January 2016
ECRE’s Asylum Information Database (AIDA) has published its fifth legal briefing on age assessment. Examining the core principles governing the treatment of children in the asylum process, namely the “best interests of the child” and the “benefit of the doubt”, which together underpin all actions affecting children and requires public authorities to treat asylum seekers as children when in doubt as to their minority or majority.
An overview of practices in European countries in this briefing identifies areas where these principles are at risk of being sidestepped by asylum authorities when conducting age assessments. The over-reliance of States on medical methods of age determination exposes children too readily to intrusive examinations of dubious accuracy, which are often immune from legal challenge. At the same time, in some cases, States are treating self-declared minors as adults until their age has been confirmed, thereby exposing them to detention and deportation, as well as preventing them from accessing the safeguards that are in place for children in the asylum procedure.
For further information:
- Asylum Information Database (AIDA), Legal Briefing: Detriment of the Doubt: Age Assessment of Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children, December 2015
This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 8 January 2016. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.