Sweden introduces new measures to assess the age of child asylum seekers

TMP – 24/03/2017

Sweden is moving ahead with a new method to assess the age of asylum seekers by examining their teeth and knee joints.

The new system, which was unveiled in September 2016, is designed to make age assessments during the asylum process more accurate.

The Swedish migration authority called Migrationsverket, has previously been criticized for failings in accurately assessing the age of asylum seekers. Some municipalities have reported suspected cases of adults being registered as a children and placed into residential care homes for young people or sent to school.

When the policy was announced last year, there were doubts about the accuracy of 70 percent of the unaccompanied minors who claimed to be between 15 and 17 years old, according to Migrationsverket.

The new method of age assessments will include taking X-rays of wisdom teeth and MRI scans of knee joints, which are then analyzed by dentists and radiologists. The first results are expected to be ready within a few weeks.