Age Assessment, in Migration

Age assessment and disputes about age usually become an issue at the point that separated or unaccompanied child migrants claim asylum or enter a ‘host’ country. In many destination countries, age is important because children, considered to be those under the age of 18 years old, are entitled to better protection in the form of education, health, and welfare support. Adults may say they are children to benefit from these provisions, and children who are incorrectly identified as adults may be placed in risky situations. Many countries have introduced age assessment policies and practices as a means of ‘proving’ chronological age. But determining age is notoriously difficult. This entry discusses the range of social, political, and personal reasons that age assessments, and their subsequent dispute, ...

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