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UK Children's Commissioners express deep concern at use of x-rays to verify age of asylum seeking children

30 March 2012

JOINT STATEMENT FROM THE FOUR UK CHILDREN'S COMMISSIONERS

"WE, as the four Children's Commissioners, are appalled at the reported introduction of a pilot by the UK Borders' Agency to use dental records and x-ray for age verification of asylum seeking children.  

"We believe that this practice places the child at risk because they may be unable to give informed consent and will be at increased, unnecessary exposure to medical radiation. 

"We believe that this is a clear breach of the rights of vulnerable children and young people and may, in fact, be illegal. 

"We will be challenging the Borders' Agency and the Government to end this pilot immediately." 

ENDS 

Notes for Editors: 

  • The Children's Commissioner for England is Maggie Atkinson 
  • The Commissioner for Children and Young People in Northern Ireland is Patricia Lewsley-Mooney 
  • The Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland is Tam Baillie 
  • The Welsh Children's Commissioner is Keith Towler

 For media enquiries please contact:

The Office of the Children's Commissioner on 0207 783 8330