Age Tests Show Thousands Of ‘Underaged’ Migrants In Sweden Lied About Age

REUTERS/Stig-Ake Jonsson/TT News Agency

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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Age assessment tests on asylum seekers in Sweden show that thousands of migrants are older than they claimed.

The national forensic medicine agency started testing migrants in March after authorities expressed doubts over several applicants. Immigration agencies have since made 5,700 decisions based on the tests and relabeled 79 percent of those applicants as adults rather than children, newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reports.

A total of 7,858 age tests have been carried out through late-October. Examinations suggest 6,628 people were adults while 112 were “possibly” older than 18. Some 430 people who claimed to be adults may have been under 18 years of age at the time of their asylum application.

“In these cases, we judged that the asylum seekers were in fact underage, contrary to the information they provided,” Daniel Salehi from the Swedish Migration Agency told Svenska Dagbladet.

British authorities reported similar results after testing 574 migrants in the year to Sept. 2015. Almost 65 percent of the child refugees were exposed as adults, according to the British Home Office.

The most accurate way to get an estimate of the actual age is by performing x-rays and dental investigations. The method is considered to have a 10-percent margin of error.

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