– ‘If in Doubt, Treat Them as a Minor’: European Body Orders End of Migrant Age Tests:
The Council of Europe has spoken out against performing medical tests on migrants to determine their age, claiming youths could be “frightened and unsettled” by the process.
In a report published Wednesday on age tests, the children’s rights committee of the council said unless there is evidence that the person is an adult, asylum seekers claiming to be under 18 should “be given the benefit of the doubt and presumed to be a child”.
Alleging that age assessments “may be frightening and unsettling for children”, the report recommends the process should take place “only if a best interests assessment concludes [it] is required in order to promote the best interests of the child”.
And only as a “last resort” should EU nations use “invasive” medical age assessment methods — such as dental examinations and X-rays — according to the report, which concludes that “the ultimate goal of any procedure should be to ensure the protection of the person’s rights”.