Process by which authorities seek to establish the chronological age, or range of age, of a person in order to determine whether an individual is a child or not.
1. Art. 4 (3a) of Council Resolution of 26 June 1997 on unaccompanied minors states that in principle, unaccompanied asylum-seekers claiming to be minors must produce evidence of their age. If such evidence is not available or serious doubt persists, EU Member States may carry out an age assessment. Age assessment should be carried out objectively. For such purposes, EU Member States may have a medical age-test carried out by qualified medical personnel, with the consent of the minor, a specially appointed adult representative or institution.
2. According to UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, General Comment No. 6, the identification of a child as an unaccompanied and separated child (UASC) includes age assessment, which should take into account physical appearance, but also psychological maturity. The assessment must be conducted in a scientific, safe, child and gender-sensitive and fair manner, avoiding any risk of violation of the physical integrity of the child, giving due respect to human dignity.
3. Age assessment can include a variety of processes or procedures either undertaken singularly or in combination, such as: analysis of documentary evidence, interview, X-ray, physical or other form of medical examination.