Exclusive: Alarm over quality of Home Office age assessments as hundreds placed in adult hotels and only moved to children’s services when charities intervene
As many refugees or asylum seekers have little or no Identity documents, as they may have lost them on route, had them stolen, were unable to bring them for some reason or they deliberately discarded then so that their identity, age and country of origin are unknown. It is, therefore very difficult for the authorities in the preferred country in which the persons wish to reside to correctly identify the correct information of the persons.
Some could be assumed younger that they say, older than say or actually believed, so the 2 former could cause many problems, children being classified as adults causing a problem for the children or adults classified as children causing problems for any children with whom they are placed. Let alone any problems they may come across on their treks over many lands. These are the risks that refugees and asylum seekers put themselves in, but there would more likely be risks if they stayed were they were.
So great care has to be taken by all concerned.
Many are undertaking these journey due to circumstances outside their control, so being incorrectly age assessed increases their problems, as does the length of the process and in many instances the quality of the accommodation they are placed in, especially having to share rooms and even more so beds.
The process needs to be conducted quicker, and there certainly needs to be more monitoring while the process is being conducted.
In reality it would be more beneficial if the need to seek asylum or be refugees were not necessary in the first place, but the reasons they do are also numerous, including famine, climate change, influence of wars and other conflicts, etc.
So great care needs to be undertaking by all concerned, so that successful outcomes are realised.