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Article 24 Medical

Article 24 Medical examination of unaccompanied minors 23 1. Medical examinations may be used to determine assess the age of unaccompanied minors within the framework of the examination of an application where, following statements by the applicant or other relevant indications including a psychosocial assessment 24 , there are doubts as to whether or not the applicant is under the age of 18. Where the result of the medical examination is not conclusive, or includes an age-range below 18 years, Member States shall assume that the applicant is a minor. 25 23 24 25 BE: scrutiny reservation on the article. FI: the title should be "medical assessment of the age" AT: delete "including a psychosocial assessment" or, second best alternative, include „possibly“ after “including”. CY: reservation; not clear what does the provision of “psychosocial assessment” include. Potentially, this will add to the administrative and financial burden of the MS. Moreover, it is a time-consuming procedure which will have an impact on the deadlines foreseen by the new proposal for the Dublin Regulation. EE: amend the text as follows: “Medical examinations may be used to determine the age of unaccompanied minors within the framework of the examination of an application where, following statements by the applicant or other relevant indications including a psychosocial assessment, when there are doubts as to whether or not the applicant is under the age of 18.” Reasoning: notion of “other relevant indications” is flexible and inclusive enough to cover all relevant indications, like opinion of the social worker or other child development specialist. Psychosocial assessment lacks scientific grounds for an age assessment and should be therefore not indicated as an example as it would cause confusion in practice. SE: against “psychosocial assessment", no scientific backup for that, prefers 25 (5) RCD. DE: not clear what “psychosocial assessment" means and if a legal remedy is possible; genital exam should be excluded in a recital. CZ: delete "following statements by the applicant or other relevant indications including a psychosocial assessment". CY: reservation on para (1) because of the psychosocial assessment, not clear this could entail; it creates administrative and financial burden and it has an impact on deadlines (cf Dublin). FI: "psychosocial assessment" should be defined. SE, NL: "assess" instead of "determine". NL: "may" instead of "shall" in the last sentence. SE: replace the last sentence with the following: "If the determining authority, after an assessment of all available evidence, including the medical examination, still has reasonable doubt concerning the applicant’s age, the determining authority shall assume that the applicant is a minor." COM: if a person declares him/herself a minor, the assumption is that he/she is a minor until proven otherwise. 5939/17 AB, ZH, PC/pf 18 ANNEX DGD1B LIMITE EN

2. The medical examination to determine assess the age of unaccompanied minors shall not be carried out without their consent or the consent of their guardians 26 . 3. Any medical examination shall be performed with full respect for the individual’s dignity, shall be the least invasive examination 27 and shall be carried out by qualified medical professionals allowing for the most reliable result possible. Upon request by the unaccompanied minor, the guardian shall be present during the medical examination. 4. Where medical examinations are used to determine assess the age of unaccompanied minors, the determining competent authority shall ensure that unaccompanied minors they are informed, prior to the examination of their application for international protection, and in a language that they understand or are reasonably meant to understand, of the possibility that their age be determined 28 by medical examination. This shall include information on the method of examination and possible consequences which the result of the medical examination may have for the examination of the application, as well as on the possibility and consequences of a refusal on the part of the unaccompanied minor, or of his or her guardian 29 , to undergo the medical examination. 26 27 28 29 AT: delete "or the consent of their guardians" because minors whose age is uncertain are most likely old enough to decide about their physical integrity. EE: amend the text as follows: “The medical examination to determine the age of unaccompanied minors shall not be carried out without their consent or and the consent of their guardians.” Reasoning: A child must give an informed consent to undergo age assessment. Legal consent is given by the (legal) guardian. Therefore both consents are needed. SE: it should be decided nationally if the guardian or the child should give consent. CZ: both the minor and the guardian should approve, replace "or" with "and". HU: not clear what happens if the minor and the guardian do not agree on consent. FR: doubts on consent of minor and guardian; the guardian is appointed after it was decided the person is a minor so after the medical exam. PT: reservation on this para. SE: should be "and/or the consent of their guardians". AT: replace "shall be the least invasive examination" with "causing no physical harm"; „least invasive“ should be determined either with proposal or in recital. SE: redraft as follows: "may be determined assessed". AT: delete "or of his or her guardian". FR: not only determining authorities, in France the judicial authorities decide. 5939/17 AB, ZH, PC/pf 19 ANNEX DGD1B LIMITE EN

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