Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

Welsh government publishes guide to assessing age of unaccompanied children


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Further to Sarah’s discussion of age assessments elsewhere on the site today, a quick note that the Welsh government recently published a “toolkit” for social workers carrying out such assessments on behalf of councils in that jurisdiction. The document contains:

  • best practice
  • a range of important and contextual information, and
  • signposts to where further information can be found

It is not legally binding but is intended to help ward off judicial review challenges to botched assessments.

The main case law in this area is the same as in England, and no doubt the toolkit could be useful to people outside Wales, but social care law generally is quite different in Wales because of the Social Services and Well-Being Act (Wales) 2014. Hence the need for a separate guide. Thanks to Siȃn Pearce for flagging it with us.

Incidentally, the Westminister government could usefully take note of the following passage:

This Toolkit does not recommend or support the use of medical examinations as determinants of age. The science underpinning the determining of age is inconclusive, unclear and in any event, subjecting young people to invasive medical examinations is judged to be morally wrong.

The Nationality and Borders Bill currently before the UK Parliament, by contrast, would facilitate “scientific methods of establishing age”. 

Interested in refugee law? You might like Colin's book, imaginatively called "Refugee Law" and published by Bristol University Press.

Communicating important legal concepts in an approachable way, this is an essential guide for students, lawyers and non-specialists alike.

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The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.