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Key Words Archives: Right to be heard

Decision issued on 18/3/2021 by the Comamnder of Lesvos Reception and Identification Center (RIC) City of 18 March 2021

The decision accepted the applicant’s appeal and decided to revoke the previous decision on the age and refer the applicant a minor, to an age assessment under the legal procedure (under the provisions of JMD 9889/2020 in stages). The minor from Afghanistan had been assessed as an adult, without the evaluation taking place in stages and without an estimated range of age by the pediatric.

Official source link: [PDF] -> attachments: Greece-Age Assessment_PDF 4

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EASO, Practical Guide on Age Assessment (2nd edition)

The EASO Practical Guide on Age Assessment acknowledges, inter alia, that the benefit of the doubt in age determination procedures is a key principle and safeguard since none of the currently available methods of age assessment can determine a specific age with certainty. So, if after the age assessment remains the doubt that the individual could be a child, they should be treated as such.

https://www.easo.europa.eu/publications/easo-practical-guide-age-assessment-second-edition

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Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly: A study of immigration detention practices and the use of alternatives to immigration detention of children

This study from the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) provides an overview of issues relating to immigration detention practices, and promotes the use of alternatives to immigration detention of children (ATDs). The study argues that the main idea behind ATDs is identifying options which provide state authorities with a degree of control over asylum seekers while allowing for a basic freedom of movement. ATDs need to be regulated in order to avoid the arbitrary imposition of restrictions on liberty or freedom of movement and, even when alternatives apply, access to legal aid should be given to migrants, especially to children.

https://edoc.coe.int/en/migration/7533-a-study-of-immigration-detention-practices-and-the-use-of-alternatives-to-immigration-detention-of-children.html

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Case No. 10794/2016 before the Sofia City Administrative Court, Judgment No. 8426 of 30 December 2016

The asylum authorities had detained an unaccompanied asylum seeking child on the ground that it was in the interest of his own safety as he had taken part in fights with other asylum seekers at the reception centre. However, the court repealed the detention order highlighting that detention should be a measure of last resort. The court noted that the child had not been heard during the administrative procedure and neither his legal representative, nor a social worker had taken part in the procedure.

Official source link: [PDF] -> attachments: Bulgaria_PDF 2

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UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), N.B.F. v Spain, Communication 011/2017, Adoption of views, 27 September 2018

The Committee recalls that the assessment of the age of a young person who claims to be a minor is of fundamental importance, as the outcome determines whether that person will be entitled to or excluded from national protection as a child. Similarly, the enjoyment of the rights set out in the Convention flows from that determination. It is therefore imperative that there be due process to assess a person’s age, as well as the opportunity to challenge the outcome through an appeals process. While that process is underway, the person should be given the benefit of the doubt and treated as a child. The best interests of the child should be a primary consideration throughout the age determination process.

https://juris.ohchr.org/Search/Details/2506

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UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), R.K. v Spain, Communication 027/2017, Adoption of views, 18 September 2019

The Committee recalls that the assessment of the age of a young person who claims to be a minor is of fundamental importance, as the outcome determines whether that person will be entitled to or excluded from national protection as a child. Similarly, the enjoyment of the rights set out in the Convention flows from that determination. It is therefore imperative that there be due process to assess a person’s age, as well as the opportunity to challenge the outcome through an appeals process. While that process is under way, the person should be given the benefit of the doubt and treated as a child. The best interests of the child should be a primary consideration throughout the age determination process.

https://juris.ohchr.org/Search/Details/2598

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