TPI on age assessment of unaccompanied minors


Members of the Migration Law Research Group* have recently contributed to a third-party intervention (TPI) before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in the communicated case of Fatoumata Diaraye BARRY v. Belgium, submitted by the Human Rights Centre and the Centre for the Social Study of Migration and Refugees (CESSMIR). The case concerns a decision of the Belgian Guardianship Service not to recognise the applicant as minor following a medical age assessment and exemplifies the current contested practices and procedures regarding age assessment of unaccompanied minors in Belgium.

The TPI elaborates on these procedures and practices and addresses some important issues in light of: (a) rules of private international law; (b) the (lack of) medical reliability of skeletal and dental age assessment; (c) international and European guidelines, and; (d) respect for the right to respect for private life (art. 8 ECHR) and the prohibition of discrimination (art. 14 ECHR)

* For the Migration Law Research Group, the team consisted of Laura Cools, Ellen Desmet, Sara Lembrechts and Annelies Nachtergaele