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.
These are the words of Hiwa*, a young person GMIAU supported, who came to the UK from Iran. He was detained following his age being disputed. A solicitor helped to secure his release from detention, and Hiwa subsequently had his age accepted. He has now been granted Refugee Status, and was helped to secure damages for his period of unlawful detention.
When I came here, I had no documents on me, as I left them inside the lorry. Here they did not sort me out for about two years. As soon as I made a friend in one place, I was transferred. It was very unpleasant for me.
When I left my country, I was scared. Here, they arrested me, and they used to say “we will send you back” and things like that, and that is why this time was a very scary time for me.
It would be good, when you place someone here, to keep them in the same place for a while and not move them so soon – not transfer them until their age is accepted. Also, during the time until they carry out the age assessment, if they know how long it will take, to keep the person busy. Either by games, or taking them to a college or a gym, or to a group. It would be very good because the person would not be fed up so much. These are good things to do until the age assessment is properly sorted.
I hope that whoever comes to this country can carry some evidence (ID documents) to avoid being transferred so many times from one place to another. That is all from me.
*Names have been changed to protect identity