69% of tested migrant minors are actually adults, according to Belgian government agency

By John Cody
3 Min Read

In 2021, Belgium saw 3,351 young migrants arrive who declared themselves to be minors, but testing tells a different story.

The Guardianship Service of the FPS Justice carried out 2,515 age tests to verify these claims. In the end, 69 percent of those tested turned out to be adults, while only 31 percent proved to be minors. The arrival figure represents a considerable rise compared to 2019. The vast majority of these so-called unaccompanied minors (UMs) originated from Middle Eastern and North African countries (MENA).

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The tests are sure to raise uncomfortable questions about not only Belgium’s migrant policy, but Europe’s as a whole. That is because the same results have been shown in a range of European countries. In France, up to 91.6 percent of all “migrant minors” could be adults, according to one report. Actual testing in France found that 78.7 percent of migrant minors were actually adults. In Sweden, the numbers were even starker, with 84 percent of “child migrants” tested by Swedish health authorities actually turning out to be adults aged 18 or older, according to a report from the BBC.

According to a study from Germany conducted by the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Münster, a large proportion of underage immigrants lie about their age. The university clinic’s forensic specialists examined around 600 so-called unaccompanied minor refugees on behalf of the courts where their age was questioned. The institute determined that around 40 percent of them were demonstrably 18 years of age or older.

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In fact, in Germany, 400,000 migrants have their birthdate listed as Jan. 1 on official documents, which is the birthdate provided to migrants when the state is unsure of what day and year they were actually born. There is a reason behind the strange phenomenon, as many migrants threw away identification and documentation on their journey to Europe. Many who were not Syrian knew that they would not receive asylum, and nearly all of them were aware, including the Syrians, that migrants under 18 receive special protection from deportation and improved social benefits, which is the norm across Europe. Migrants under 18 also receive special privileges in criminal trials, which as countries like Sweden have proven, can be an enormous benefit should a migrant run afoul of the law. Therefore, there was and continues to be incredible strong incentives for migrants to lie about their age.

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