Title: Medical Age Assessment of Juvenile Migrants
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2018
JRC N°: JRC109278
ISBN: 978-92-79-94198-6 (online),978-92-79-94199-3 (print)
ISSN: 1831-9424 (online),1018-5593 (print)
Other Identifiers: EUR 29358 EN
OP KJ-NA-29358-EN-N (online),KJ-NA-29358-EN-C (print)
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC109278
DOI: 10.2760/47096
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: An important aspect of the reception of unaccompanied children in migration is the question of their age. As these young people frequently arrive without reliable documents, their age might be called into question. This puts into focus age assessment, the attempt by authorities to estimate the (chronological) age of a person, in the absence of reliable documentation regarding age. As there is no such simple technique for humans as counting the age rings of trees, any existing age assessment approach is subject to discussions and possibly even disagreements. Medical methods for age determination are usually the ones considered as more problematical for a number of reasons. The most important class of medical methods are those based on the observation of age markers, i.e. somatic indicators that change in a given way with age. As a large number of scientific studies has investigated this relationship in detail, it is assumed that this method allows for reliable and reproducible conclusion about the true age of a person. This ambitious claim is not unchallenged. In addition to doubts about the real precision of medical methods, there are also health and ethical issues. On the other hand, the high potential to establish age estimation on objective criteria, thereby reducing the dependence on individual expert opinion, has raised high expectations and attention on age markers. The current report aims to analyse to what extent these expectations can be met.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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