Home Office officials have confirmed that young migrants coming over to the UK have been thoroughly assessed to ensure they’re the age they claim to be.
The announcement follows concerns from aid workers that vulnerable children may be left stranded in the Calais Jungle because ‘adult migrants are reportedly lying about their age’.
However, background checks by the Home Office, including age assessments, interviews and credible documentary evidence, have confirmed that this in not the case.
Teenagers aged 14 to 17-years-old are currently undergoing a process to reconnect them with their family members in Britain.
However after the first coach arrived yesterday, critics claimed the children ‘looked older than the ages that the Government claims they are’.
Conservative MP David Davies wrote on Twitter: ‘These don’t look like ‘children’ to me. I hope British hospitality is not being abused.’
However, officials insist that the young migrants have had document checks.
A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘We work closely with the French Authorities to ensure that the cases applying to come to the UK qualify under Dublin. Initial interviews are conducted to gather information on identity, medical conditions and age among other criteria.
‘On age we use a number of determining factors.
‘These are that the individual has provided credible and clear documentary evidence proving their claimed age, that the individual has a physical appearance and demeanour which does not strongly suggest they are significantly over 18 years of age.
One unnamed aid worker is concerned that adults may be lying about their age (Picture: Reuters/Peter Nicholl)
‘And that the individual has been subject to a Merton compliant age assessment by a local authority and been assessed to be 18 years of age or over, which must be signed off by two social workers.
‘We also ensure that we meet our safeguarding obligations as first responders who identify potential child trafficking and child slavery victims in the UK.’
Since yesterday, two coach loads of ‘children’ have arrived from the Jungle camp, and a total of 300 are expected in the UK by the end of the week.
The Calais Jungle is scheduled to be demolished later this month.