This blog post is part of a series leading up to our Age Assessment Guides online launch event on September 9th 2020 for the Young People’s Guides to Age Assessments. The guides will be launched on our website, and at 5pm we’ll live stream a discussion on our Youtube and Facebook page. Please see this post for full details.
Arman* was age disputed upon arrival to the UK from Iran. He was helped by a solicitor and his age was accepted. He has been granted refugee status and has moved on to independent living after turning 18 years old. Arman has supported many other young people to understand the age assessment process and to refer them for help, and as such he was part of the inspiration for our guide on age assessments: by young people for young people. Here he shares his experience, and his advice for others going through the same.
I came from Iran, at around 2017. I went to the police station and handed myself in as a refugee but they thought that I was lying about my age. I found help in Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit. They helped make sure I had a place to stay with people my age and sent me into education. When I went there everyone was very helpful and they couldn’t have been better. I appreciate all their help so much, I will never forget the help that they have given me.
Through different meetings with a social worker they asked me various questions and that’s when they knew I wasn’t lying about my age. I think that this guide will help others that are struggling, to see the social workers and foster workers as help and not as their enemy. I think not giving up and being honest till the very end is extremely important. Don’t give up and keep pushing forward, don’t be lazy and keep trying to get your point across, be respectful and honest.
*Names have been changed to protect identity