Asylum seekers claiming to be children 'should undergo medical tests to prove ... trends now

Asylum seekers claiming to be children 'should undergo medical tests to prove ... trends now
Asylum seekers claiming to be children 'should undergo medical tests to prove ... trends now

Asylum seekers claiming to be children 'should undergo medical tests to prove ... trends now

Asylum seekers claiming to be children should undergo medical tests on their bones and teeth to help determine if they are telling the truth, experts have recommended today. 

A report for the Home Office recommends that in cases where the age of a refugee is disputed they should face X-rays and MRI scans of their teeth and bones that could help prove how old they are.

The interim Age Estimation Science Advisory Committee (AESAC) was set up by then home secretary Priti Patel a year ago, amid fears of 'the practice of single grown adult men, masquerading as children claiming asylum'.

In a report published today the AESAC recommended using x-rays of wisdom teeth and bones in the hands and wrists, and MRI scans of the knees and collar bones, to better estimate the age of the person seeking care. 

The tests could be introduced within a year - though they would be voluntary. The report said they must 'uphold their dignity and right to choose, and minimising any health risk, whether physical or psychological, to the individual being assessed'.

But it is likely to put the government even more firmly on a collision course with medical unions. 

At the weekend the Society of Radiographers said medics should boycott any new tests introduced.

But Home Secretary Suella Braverman has previously spoken of her determination to bring in new methods.

A report for the Home Office recommends that in cases where the age of a refugee is disputed they should face X-rays and MRI scans of their teeth and bones that could help prove how old they are.

A report for the Home Office recommends that in cases where the age of a refugee is disputed they should face X-rays and MRI scans of their teeth and bones that could help prove how old they are.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has previously spoken of her determination to bring in new tests.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has previously spoken of her determination to bring in new tests.

In its report today the committee wrote: 'There are strong views on the use of ionising radiation (x-rays) in the age assessment process and the interim committee has listened to and debated these arguments at length.

'However, the risk is recognised to be small and the benefits of a reliable age assessment are considerable for the ongoing health and wellbeing of the individual while minimising safeguarding risks. 

'The interim committee advocates the use of MRI for age assessment where possible and there is a growing body of peer reviewed research that provides confidence in the future use of MRI for assessment of the hand/wrist and third molar, although this will require further research.'

It added: 'There is a duty to

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