500 migrants are still pending medical determination of whether they are adults or minors
Around 500 migrants, who arrived irregularly to the Canary Islands archipelago, from the African continent, are still pending medical determination of whether they are adults or minors, reports the Canary Islands Minister of Public Administrations, Justice and Security, Julio Pérez .
This was stated in the parliamentary committee, in response to a question from Deputy Jana María González, who pointed out that there are significant delays in conducting tests to determine the age of migrants who arrive to our shores undocumented, leaving the authorities with no sure way to know if they are adults or minors, under 18 years of age.
The deputy stated that up to 75% of those minors, under guardianship in the Canary Islands, have not yet been able to have the bone age determination test, adding that the obstacle is with the health department and in the performance of radiographic tests, to which she added there is a lack of resources and that this methodology is not entirely valid.
In his response, Julio Pérez indicated that the resources requested by the Prosecutor’s Office have already been increased and assured that the delays are being caused by the complexity of the evidence itself. He also said that the Canary Islands received almost 1,800 minors over the last year and that not all of them are in doubt.
He also clarified that there is no alternative methodology because that could contradict constitutional and legal requirements and legal claims. “It is not an action that we think can be simplified. We have done everything possible, but what we are not going to do is rush, because we are trying to determine a condition on which the future of a person depends,” said Perez.
The numbers quoted above appear a little confusing, when checked against the data being given out around the start of February, when it was claimed that more than 2,600 unaccompanied minors had arrived by boat in the last year, and that 600 or so had carried documentation verifying their ages, which mean around 2,000 individuals required testing. From this number it was suspected that between 300 and 600 individuals could in fact be adults, and so they were to be prioritised for testing, starting with the most troublesome of the suspect adults. The Department for Social Rights at that point claimed they could achieve about 100 tests a week. This week they have announced that they are continuing with the testing, which has already shown that adults are hiding among the children.