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Position Paper on Age Assessment in the Context of Separated Children in Europe

This Paper represents the position of the SCEP on age assessment in the context of separated children in Europe. In particular, it aims to provide concrete recommendations to States and other relevant stakeholders on how to ensure full respect of the rights that separated children are entitled to, when doubts concerning their age may arise. This Paper represents the basis on which SCEP will pursue advocacy around age assessment in Europe.

SCEP’s positions presented in this Paper are based on the current situation concerning laws, policies and practices related to age assessment in Europe, primarily as it resulted from a review undertaken by SCEP in 16 European countries4. The bibliography in this Paper identifies some further reports and studies that are relevant in the area and that have informed this document (Annex 2). Further details concerning examinations currently applied to assess the age of separated children in Europe are contained in Annex 1.

The Paper builds upon the principles and standards outlined in the SCEP’s Statement of Good Practice (above), which are primarily based upon and informed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (‘CRC’, 1989), the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child’s General Comment Number 6 on the Treatment of Unaccompanied and Separated Children Outside Their Country of Origin (2005) and the UNHCR’s Guidelines on Policies and Procedures in dealing with Unaccompanied Children Seeking Asylum (1997).