After two murders by “underage” migrants who turned out to be adults, the Swedish government is feeling the pressure to verify the ages of those who claim to be underage according to dn.se.
Over 35,000 unaccompanied “minors” arrived in Sweden last year. Many in the media made light pictures, such as one that showed children running with someone who was clearly an adult. Media dubbed the man the “fastest 14 year old in Sweden” and while many found humour in the Swedish policy of not bothering out to find the true age of migrants, the reality had deadly consequences.
Breitbart London was one of the first English language news outlets to report on the fatal stabbing of Alexandra Mezher at an asylum home for underage migrants. Many on social media platforms questioned the age of the perpetrator who was said to be 15 years old at the time and as a result Swedish officials forced the Daily Mail to ban Swedish readers from their coverage of the incident. Only recently was it revealed that authorities at the Swedish prosecution service now thought after examining the case that the murderer was actually an adult of at least 20 years of age.
A second case which involved another attack at an underage asylum centre took place in November 2015, after a migrant was said to have stabbed a woman and slashed at her face after she rebuked his sexual advances. Once again the attacker claimed to be underage and it was later proved that he was in fact an adult. The revelation came after documents revealed he was 22 years old and yet more documents revealed he was even older.
Stockholm University pediatrics professor Anders Hjern admitted that it was in a migrants’ best interest to claim to be underage because under Swedish law any migrant under the age of 18 can’t be sent back to their country of origin for any reason unless a parent or legal guardian can be notified.
The professor said, “It’s obvious that there are strong incentives for saying that you’re younger than 18, everyone who has been involved in this for some time has heard about cases where young people have after a while admitted that they lied.” which many are saying has become a loophole and an excuse for authorities to not apply the law fully to these migrants.
The methods of identifying age without documents can be hard for authorities the professor said and told Swedish media, “it’s extremely difficult to assess age in the upper teens, especially when you have young people from populations that you’re not used to seeing, you see populations from the Middle East, where many people have a lot more body hair that we have in Sweden, which makes them look a lot older.”
The National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden thinks they have the answer to the problem. MRI scans designed for checking the age of athletes that compete in under-17 football competitions purports to tell the exact age of the person in question. Many in Sweden look at such a measure as unethical and suggest a psycho analytical approach, as used in Britain, may be more feasible as it accesses the maturity and ability to socialise of the migrant in question.
In a society that has large legal differences between childhood and adulthood, many see the necessity of knowing a migrants age as vital to their rights as well as their responsibilities and many believe that accurate information could possibly prevent acts like the murder of Alexandra Mezher from happening again.