UK may introduce knee scans and dental exams for illegal immigrants who claim to be children

Scientific advisers recommend that the Home Office introduce MRI scans and x-rays of teeth and bones to check the biological age of illegal immigrants who claim to be children, but advisers say the tests do not. He said it should be voluntary.

In January 2022, former Home Minister Priti Patel said: By pretending to be children, these adult men continue to access children’s services and schools through deception and deception, keeping children and young people in school and putting them at risk. ”

She advises the Age Estimation Scientific Advisory Committee (AESAC) to advise the Home Office on “science-based methodologies” that could help determine the age of unaccompanied minors whose ages are in dispute. I requested

of the committee reportpublished earlier this week, “We must accept that there is no foolproof method for either biological or social worker-initiated age assessment that matches chronological age perfectly.

However, it recommends four methods that can reasonably indicate an individual’s true age.

  • Radiograph (x-ray) of third molars (wisdom teeth).
  • A radiograph (x-ray) of the bones of the hand and wrist.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of knee bones.
  • MRI of the clavicle (collarbone).

In 2003, the High Court issued guidelines on how to test the age of unaccompanied minors in the absence of documentation proving their age, following a test case brought by the London Borough of Merton. determined.

AESAC reports that all new processes must be “Merton compliant.”

The risk of ionizing radiation is ‘small’

The report states: However, the risks are perceived to be small and the benefits of reliable age assessment are substantial for the continued health and well-being of individuals while minimizing protective risks. ”

The report said illegal immigrants should be given “clear information explaining the risks and benefits of biological evaluation” so that they can give “informed consent.” rice field.

Alp Mehmet, chairman of Migration Watch UK, has urged Home Secretary Suella Braverman to overrule advice on making tests optional because of suspicions that many immigrants are lying to be treated as juveniles. I made a request to

He said The Times of London: “It is certainly in the interests of minors to have corroborative evidence that they are in fact children. One must have the courage and the political will to approach it.It would be absurd to have to accept an alleged age just because one rejected a scientific assessment.”

Murderer refused to undergo dental examination

In 2007, two Nigerian-born brothers were convicted of robbing and murdering a woman at a christening party in south London.

Diamond Babamboni Possibly 17, his brother Timmy claimed to be 15, but at their trial, he was told his mother gave conflicting accounts of his birth date, and that the Nigerian birth certificate was a fake. was thought.

Prosecutor Brian Altman, QC, said the two “declined” a dental examination.

Judge Gross told the brothers that if they were proven to be adults, they would be sentenced to 16 years in prison, not the 8 he sentenced them to.

The AESAC report states: Hand/wrist or knee development can be used by females to assess her age to around 16 years and males to assess her age by around 18 years. ”

“The clavicle is of particular value in assessing the age of men and women from around 15 to around 25, as it exhibits the longest growth-related activity in the human body.”

The report further states that “if existing Merton-based processes and biological assessments are performed independently, it will be possible to use a likelihood ratio approach based on known developmental timeframes for teeth and bones.” I would.”

“This approach can compare the likelihood of an assigned age according to a Merton-compliant process to the likelihood of an asserted age, and show which leads to stronger support.” ‘ it added.

More than half of all age-verified illegal immigrants were found to be over the age of 18, according to the Home Office.

A Home Office spokesman told The Times of London: Introduce a scientific method for assessing the age of asylum seekers through the National Border Act. ”

Chris Summers

Chris Summers is a UK-based journalist with a wide range of national coverage, with a particular interest in crime, police and law.