Age disputes

It is common for many children who have been trafficked to either have no identity documents or have been given a false identity including a false date of birth. This can then lead to their age being assessed incorrectly as an adult rather than a child. At times the child does not know their date of birth but simply repeats that which he or she has been told to say by the trafficker.

As seen above Article 10 of the European Convention enshrines the concept of benefit of doubt in favour of the suspected child victim. Likewise the EU Directive place an obligation to ensure that where the age of a person subject to trafficking in human beings is uncertain and there are reasons to believe that the person is a child, that person is presumed to be a child in order to receive immediate access to assistance, support and protection.

Age is a significant part of child’s identity. Their age not being accepted is likely to effect the child psychologically as well as having a huge impact on their schooling, care leaving rights and immigration status and process.

There are lawyers known as age assessment lawyers or community care lawyers who can assist in challenging an age assessment which the child does not agree with.

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