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Asylum seekers

Migration Board criticised over age assessments

Published söndag 23 juni 2013 kl 12.27
File photo: Scanpix. Montage: Swedish Radio.

The Swedish Migration Board is not using adequate procedures for establishing the correct age of asylum seekers and unaccompanied teenage migrants, newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports.

The current methods apparently do not meet guidelines set by the National Board of Health and Welfare, which has stipulated that pediatricians should carry out the examinations.

Instead, the Migration Board consults radiologists whose estimates have a two- to four-year margin of error. Migration Board staff then make their judgments based on the radiologist's assessment.

A representative of the National Board of Health and Welfare said it is "unfortunate" that the Migration Board has told the government that it conducts medical age assessments in six percent of all cases.

"We have pointed out to the Migration Board that it is incorrect to describe these assessments as medical assessments. It is unfortunate that there have been claims in the media that there is a secure method. We are still working on establishing a method where the age assessments can be as scientific and legally secure as possible," said Elis Envall, an investigator at the National Board of Health and Welfare.

The Migration Board was also criticised for its treatment of unaccompanied teenage migrants. One Afghani asylum seeker told Dagens Nyheter that the Migration Board insists that he is 19.2 years old when, in fact, he is 16.5.

"My parents have told me so and it says so in my Afghani birth certificate," he said.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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