When is a Child not a Child? Asylum, Age Disputes and the Process of Age Assessment

Heaven Crawley

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review


    This research provides the first detailed, evidence-based analysis of current policy and practice in relation to age disputes of children and young people seeking asylum in the UK. The specific aims of the research are:
    - To examine existing policy and practice in relation to age assessment by the Home Office, local authorities and others;
    - To examine the implications of age dispute issues and of a child being treated as an adult for the way in which the asylum application is assessed, including the information that is (and is not) taken into account in making the decision, vulnerability to and experience of detention, and the consequences of the decision, including
    actual and potential removal from the UK;
    - To examine the consequences of age dispute issues and of a child being treated as an adult for the provision of legal representation, education, housing, welfare and support to children, including any inconsistencies or differences between local authorities in their approaches to the issue of age dispute and the nature and
    extent of any provision made;
    - To identify any child protection issues which arise in age disputed cases as a result of detention, inappropriate accommodation provision by local authorities and the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) and lack of access to existing child protection mechanisms;
    - To consider the implications for children’s mental and emotional well-being of having their stated age disputed and the consequences for their personal and educational development; and
    - To develop concrete and practical policy recommendations on an appropriate process for agreeing age in the asylum context, and on the relationship between the process of age assessment, the asylum determination process and support and leaving care arrangements.

    The findings of the research are intended to lead to reductions in the number of disputes, improvements in the assessment process, and the establishment of appropriate mechanisms for reviewing the assessment process without recourse to the courts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherImmigration Law Practitioners' Association (ILPA)
    Commissioning bodyImmigration Law Practitioners' Association
    Number of pages225
    ISBN (Print)1 901 833 13 5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2007


    • Asylum Seekers
    • Asylum
    • Children
    • Young People
    • Age assessment
    • Age estimation
    • United Kingdom
    • Age disputes
    • Public Policy


    Dive into the research topics of 'When is a Child not a Child? Asylum, Age Disputes and the Process of Age Assessment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this