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Sweden to start medical age tests for refugees

STOCKHOLM, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) — Medical age assessments of refugees will be rolled out in Sweden in the first quarter of 2017, with an estimated 14,000 cases waiting to be tried, Swedish Television reported on Monday.

A total 35,000 unaccompanied refugee minors came to Sweden in the fall of 2015 and the country’s Migration Agency is currently processing around 20,000 asylum applications.

Many of them will need medical tests to determine their age, Swedish Television quoted Fredrik Bengtsson, Migration Agency’s acting communications director, as saying.

The medical assessment involves an MRI scan of the knee joints as well as an x-ray of the wisdom teeth.

The tests will be assessed by two dentists and two medical doctors and the results will then be collated by the National Board of Forensic Medicine.

An asylum seeker who claims to be under 18 but does not have any identification documents or fails to offer proof of their age can be subjected to an investigation in order to determine whether or not they are a minor.

The Swedish Migration Agency will inform the asylum seeker about the option of undergoing a medical age assessment. Such a test cannot be carried out without the asylum seeker’s consent.

If the Agency determines that the applicant is 18 years or older, he or she will be treated as an adult asylum seeker, according to the Migration Agency website.

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