On behalf of courts, the Rechtsmediziner der Universitätsklink examined about 600 so-called unaccompanied minors whose age had been in doubt.
It turned out that about 40 percent of them were proven to be 18 years or older, according to the research frompolitical magazine Focus Online. According to this, all age reports of the institute were evaluated between 2007 and 2018 for the study.
The physicians acted on behalf of courts and youth welfare offices, which had questioned the age given by those affected. With the help of forensic age diagnostics it was then be clarified whether the immigrants are actually underage or not. At least 92 percent of the cases were young men from Afghanistan, Guinea, Algeria and Eritrea.
Sadly, the figure of 40 percent could be even higher. “Since we can not pinpoint the date of birth for the day, there is a gray area. With this variability, we always judged in favor of the person concerned. Thus in cases of doubt, he would be classified as a minor,” Deputy Director Andreas Schmeling explained to the news portal.
The age classification was made drawing from a combination of several methods. In addition to general physical examinations, the dentures and the wrist bones were X-rayed. Moreover, clavicles were examined radiologically.
Underage asylum seekers enjoy special protection status in Germany, receive more support and do not live in collective accommodation. According to the German Association of Towns and Municipalities, the costs for an unaccompanied minor are around 5 000 euros per month. In recent years, there have been repeated disputes over compulsory age checks for such persons.
Already two years ago it had become known that almost every second unaccompanied minor is older than 18 years.