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EASO age assessment practice in Europe publication

11 March 2014


The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) has published a report about age assessment practice in Europe to provide practical support to Member States in the field of age assessment. The publication is a non-binding tool and should serve as a reference tool to support policymakers and officials active in the development, review or implementation of age assessment policy and procedures. SCEP has been consulted for the publication and SCEP's position paper on age assessment in the context of separated children is referred to frequently in the publication. 

Key points when undertaking age assessment

The publication 'EASO Age assessment practice in Europe' seeks to highlight the key points which should be taken into consideration when undertaking age assessment.
Key issues for consideration are according to EASO:
- the best interest of the child as a primary consideration in age assessment procedures;
- the circumstances in which age assessment may be legitimate and necessary aim;
- the relevant procedureal measures and safeguards which should be in place during the age assessment procedure;
- the possible methods in use, their respective advantages and disadvantages and what needs to be in place to ensure they meet the minimum requirements of legislation;
the role of other actors within the age assessment procedure.

Further to this, the report includes:
- checklists to identify key points for consideration;
- instances of Member state practice and expert recommendations;
- a glossary of defined terms used;
- overview of legal and policy frameworks
- a summary of the legal provisions.

The publication includes SCEP recommendation that 'Age assessment should be undertaken by professionals who are (a) independent (whose role is not in potential/actual conflict with the interests of the individual; (b) with appropriate expertise (adequately trained); and (c) familiar with the individual's ethnic and cultural background.

More information:

Position Paper Age Assessment 2012.jpg

- EASO age assessment practice in Europe
- SCEP's position paper on age assessment in the context of separated children

EASO is an agency of the European Union that plays a key role in the concrete development of the Common European Asylum System. It was established with the aim of enhancing practical cooperation on asylum matters and helping Member States fulfil their European and international obligations to give protection to people in need. EASO acts as a centre of expertise on asylum. It also provides support to Member States whose asylum and reception systems are under particular pressure.

Researcher from the temporary working group Dutch Association of Age Assessment Researchers (DA-AAR) published a report about considerations of the approach taken to and the implementation of age assessment of minor asylum seekers in the Netherlands. You can find the report here

Separated Children in Europe Programme (SCEP) - coordinated by Defence for Children The Netherlands - PO BOX 11103 - 2301 EC - Leiden - 0031 (0)71 516 09 80 - info@scepnetwork.org