Age determination of asylum seekers and alleged people smugglers. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • This column discusses the issues encountered when courts attempt to determine if an individual who has no reliable age at birth documentation has reached adulthood, or is still a legal minor. This issue has recently received a high level of public interest due to the wrongful imprisonment in Australian adult prisons of Indonesian minors accused of people smuggling following the determination, subsequently shown to be incorrect, that they were adults. The discussion explains current deficits existing in the science of age estimation with reference to the recent Australia Human Rights Commission "Inquiry into the Treatment of Individuals Suspected of People Smuggling Who Say That They are Children". Future research possibilities in the science of age estimation which may help to resolve many of the issues are explored.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012