Huge numbers of migrants are still coming to Britain via small boats PA
The hearing was told that the assessors had also used other factors, like the young asylum seeker’s “thick eyebrows, stubble, defined Adam’s apple and triangular face shape”.
The judge said that observations about a person’s appearance, behaviour and demeanour were “inherently subjective and not properly capable of bearing much evidential weight”.
The ruling found that the use of those observations to question the applicant’s credibility undermined the official assessment.
The judge ruled against the Home Office’s assessment of the asylum seeker’s age as 25 and instead determined that he was 16 on the day he arrived in the UK.
Enver Solomon, chief executive of the Refugee Council told the Times that the case exposed the complexity of assessing an individual’s age.
He said: “Distinguishing between adults and children is not something that can be done quickly; it takes time and expertise to make the right decision. But the reality is that poor quality decisions are resulting in far too many children being wrongly age-assessed and put at risk.”
Almost 50% of asylum seekers whose age was disputed, were found to be adults
A Home Office spokesperson told GB News they were “considering the judgement carefully to understand where any improvements can be made to future assessments.”
The spokesperson added: “It’s vital that we remove incentives for adults to pretend to be children in order to remain in the UK.
“Between January 2016 and June 2023, 49% of asylum applicants whose age was disputed, were found to be adults.”
From next year, more scientific methods for age assessments will be introduced by the Government.
Those tests will include x-rays of bones and teeth.