X-rays for children

Updated 19 January 2024: Thank you Freemovement: Scientific Age Testing of Children Becomes Law

The Immigration (Age Assessments) Regulations 2024 providing for the use of scientific age testing of children have come into force on 10 January 2024. A reminder of the response from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to these proposals:

Evidence shows that using x-rays to determine age can be widely inaccurate and the practice is ultimately unethical. It is appalling to see that the Government is persisting with these plans, which hinge life-changing decisions for some of the most vulnerable young people in our society on unspecific scientific outcomes and includes exposing them to radiation.

We have covered these regulations extensively, from when the drafts were first published, to when the relevant section of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 was brought into force, when the House of Lords’ Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee raised concerns and when the regulations were voted on by Parliament.

Read more: Freemovememt, https://shorturl.at/xQS57

22 September 2023: Guardian: Fear of X-ray age tests in UK ‘may force child asylum seekers to flee’

Human rights groups criticise introduction of X-rays or bone scans to determine ages of asylum seekers

The Home Office insists many adult asylum seekers are pretending to be children but recent freedom of information data from 70 local authorities obtained by charities suggests that two-thirds of children – 867 out of 1,386 – deemed to be adults by the Home Office were later confirmed to be children.

Children wrongly classified as adults could be placed alone in unsupervised accommodation alongside adults they do not know, or wrongly placed in adult immigration detention centres. Some children as young as 14 have been forced to share rooms with unrelated adults.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/sep/22/fear-of-x-ray-age-tests-may-force-uk-child-asylum-seekers-to-flee