Every year several unaccompanied children migrant to the UK as asylum seekers, among them mostly come from Afghanistan followed by Iraq, Iran and other Asian countries. Applications from these asylum seekers result in a granted asylum, humanitarian protection or discretionary Leaves. The following chart shows the number of applications was received within four years and the number of migrants granted asylum, humanitarian protection or discretionary leave. This chart shows that the ratio of asylum seekers who have been allowed residency in the UK has dropped, but still ratio of those who have been dismissed and withdrawn remained close within past four years.
Age dispute is the major reason behind rejection and dismissed of the children seek asylum in the UK. It has been noticed that the UK border Agency disputes the age of some children applicant due to their age factor. Likewise, in 2011 approximately 374 children were age disputed, it a decrease of 24% in comparison with 2010 statistics in which 489 were age disputed. It is noteworthy here, that out of 374 children 30% were from Afghanistan and every year, nationals of Afghanistan are age-disputed, may be due to their mature looks, height, and mature body structures (Home Office 2012).
Age assessment protocol is provided to these unaccompanied children who claim to be less than 18 years but do not have any documentary evidence to prove their original age. The screening process is carried out which includes various approaches, some of the most used approaches are dental age assessments, x-rays reports, paediatrician’ s report, evidence of age from visa applications, travel or identity documents (Home Office 2012, ILPA 2012). Further, it should be noted that social workers assessing these children during the age disruption procedure are responsible for providing observations based on behaviour, interaction and self-care skills of each individual.
Also, social workers uphold an idea that apart from official procedures of age assessment these children should be judged on the observations regarding relations with others, proves of anxiety, worries, being feared or harmed.
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