Biologists warn of the problems of determining age from biological indicators in children

The thousands of unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) entering Europe to seek escape from war and poverty are in the headlines as the British Government considers the acceptance of 3000 refugee children to the UK. In addition to the loss of their families, many of these children will also have no documentary proof of their identity or age and no-one to support their status as “children” and thus their claim of asylum. In those cases in which the child appears to be mature, scientific evidence is required by the government to support an age of less than 18 years. In these cases an assessment of the biological maturity of the child is made on the assumption of the close relationship between maturity and age. In 2015 these assessments were carried out in 488 of the 2168 applications by UASC; over 20% of all applications. —> Read More