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Response to the piloting of dental x-rays to assess the age of asylum

By March 30, 2012November 1st, 2016Press release

In response to the announcement that the UKBA is piloting a scheme using dental x-rays to assess the age of asylum-seeking children, Dave Garratt, Chief Executive of Refugee Action, said:

“We absolutely share the concern of the Childrens’ Commissioners that using x-ray to assess a child’s age is a breach of his or her rights.

“Children who have experienced conflict and persecution, and often traumatic journeys to the UK, should not be expected to undergo intrusive testing to prove their age.

“The accuracy of such methods is disputed. Age assessment of asylum seeking children should be made by an independent body, one which recognises that child welfare should matter more than immigration status.


For more information please contact Carys Davis, Public Affairs & Communications Manager at Refugee Action, on 07876 770122 or email

Notes to Editors:

  • ‘UK Children’s Commissioners express deep concern at use of x-rays to verify age of asylum seeking children’ –
  • Refugee Action is an independent, national charity working to enable refugees to build new lives. We provide practical advice and assistance for newly arrived asylum seekers and long-term commitment to their settlement through community development work, and received 30,000 visits from asylum seekers last year. As one of the country’s leading agencies in the field, Refugee Action has 30 year’ experience in pioneering innovative work in partnership with refugees.