Question reference: S6W-18423
- Date lodged: 31 May 2023
Current status: Answered by Natalie Don on 7 June 2023
To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it is having with the UK Government regarding the introduction of new clauses 24 and 25 to the UK Illegal Migration Bill, which could reportedly lead to age assessments and mandatory medical assessments of any children being detained in Scotland.
The Scottish Government is clear that scientific age assessments have no place in Scotland. The Scottish Government’s Age assessment: practice guidance strongly advises against use of such techniques on child welfare grounds and their ability to accurately ascertain age.
Scottish Government Officials are engaging with the Home Office on their proposals to scientifically age assess unaccompanied asylum seeking children. In October 2022, Scottish Ministers wrote to the UK Government expressing serious concerns over the UK Government’s plans to introduce medical age assessments under the Nationality and Borders Act 2022.
The Scottish Government is clear that the UK Government’s cruel and inhumane Illegal Migration Bill should be scrapped immediately. The Scottish Parliament rejected the Bill during a debate on 25 April. In the debate, the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice raised serious concerns about the ethical implications of subjecting children to scientific age assessments.
We continue to monitor the Bill closely as it is considered by the House of Lords.