Age Assessment, in Migration

Crafter, Sarah and Rosen, Rachel (2020). Age Assessment, in Migration. In: Cook, Daniel Thomas ed. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies. Sage.


Age assessment and disputes about age usually become an issue at the point that separated or unaccompanied child migrants claim asylum or enter a 'host' country. In many destination countries, age is significant because children, considered to be those under 18-years-old, are entitled to better protection in the form of education, health and welfare support. Adults may say they are children to benefit from these provisions and children who are incorrectly identified as adults may be placed risky situations. Many States have introduced age-assessment policies and practices as a means of ‘proving’ chronological age. But, determining age is notoriously difficult. This entry discusses the range of social, political and personal reasons why age assessment, and their subsequent dispute, can be so problematic.

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