More than half of the asylum-seeking unaccompanied 'children' who arrived in Denmark in 2011 and 2012 were actually over 18 and therefore not children after all.
According to state medical examiners, 327 out of the 637 who applied for asylum between 2011 and 2012 lied about being under 18.
Unaccompanied children get more benefits and have an easier time having their asylum applications approved.
The police and the immigration services, Udlændingestyrelsen, use medical examiners from Retsmedicinsk Institut to examine unaccompanied children to establish their ages by x-raying their bones and teeth.
Shouldn't stand alone
In the first four months of 2013, the Justice Ministry estimated that 34 out of the 43 unaccompanied ‘children’ they examined were over 18.
“Experience shows us that a great number of the applicants tested were estimated to be adults,” Bjørn Hørning, a spokesperson with Udlændingeservice, told Metroxpress newspaper.
“So therefore, we test for age when we suspect the applicant isn’t a minor.”
However, the medico-legal council Retslægerådet ruled in 2011 that the age test has a one-year margin of error and should therefore not stand alone as evidence.