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Accueil > Documentation > Rapports et études > Rapports institutionnels internationaux > Pratiques relatives à l’évaluation de l’âge en Europe - EASO (European Asylum (...)

Pratiques relatives à l’évaluation de l’âge en Europe - EASO (European Asylum Support Office)

Décembre 2013

Publié le mardi 31 décembre 2013 , mis à jour le vendredi 16 janvier 2015

Le but de cette publication est de fournir un soutien pratique aux États membres dans le domaine de l’évaluation de l’âge.


L’évaluation de l’âge est le processus par lequel les autorités tentent d’établir un âge chronologique ou un groupe d’âges de façon à définir si un individu est adulte ou enfant.

Lorsque l’âge est inconnu, il est important d’identifier les enfants de façon à assurer leur protection et les droits qui leur sont conférés par la loi, et aussi de façon à éviter que des adultes soient placés parmi les enfants et qu’ils tirent un avantage des droits complémentaires accordés à ce groupe vulnérable. L’évaluation de l’âge ne devrait être utilisée qu’en cas de doute sérieux.


Les sujets suivants sont abordés dans le rapport en question :

- Circonstances où l’évaluation de l’âge est un objectif légitime et nécessaire
- Mesures procédurales et garanties durant la procédure d’évaluation de l’âge
- Outils et méthodes d’évaluation de l’âge
- Rôle des acteurs dans la procédure d’évaluation de l’âge
- Considération première de l’intérêt supérieur de l’enfant

Le rapport comprend également quelques annexes :

- Annexe 1 : Définitions et glossaire
- Annexe 2 : Cadre légal et politique
- Annexe 3 : Résumé des dispositions légales
- Annexe 4 : Cadres légaux et politiques nationaux : aperçu des instruments pertinents
- Annexe 5 : Aperçu des différents éléments de procédure et de sauvegarde actuellement utilisés dans le processus d’évaluation de l’âge
- Annexe 6 : Aperçu des méthodes d’évaluation de l’âge par pays


Age assessment is an important, yet complex and challenging issue that authorities may need to undertake in order to determine whether an individual is an adult or a child in circumstances where their age is unknown. This is so as to ensure children are protected and afforded the provisions entitled to them under law, and also to prevent adults from being placed amongst children and from taking advantage of additional provisions, such as access to education, provision of a representative, that are not afforded to adults. However, the issue is complicated because often individuals arrive without any documentation or evidence of their age. there is also currently no method, which can identify the exact age of an individual and there are concerns about the invasiveness and accuracy of the methods in use. The consequences of this are serious, since it could result in a child being treated as an adult, or an adult as a child. Methods should also be respectful of individuals and their human dignity.

Therefore, this publication seeks to highlight the key points, in accordance with international, European and national legislation, which should be taken into consideration when undertaking age assessment. the following have been identified as key issues for consideration :
• the best interests of the child as a primary consideration in age assessment procedures ;
• the circumstances in which age assessment may be a legitimate and necessary aim ;
• the relevant procedural measures and safeguards which should be in place during the age assessment procedure ;
• the possible methods in use, their respective advantages and disadvantages and what needs to be in place to ensure they meet the minimum requirements of legislation ;
• the role of other actors within the age assessment procedure.

Further to this, there are also several reference tools to support users. These include :
• checklists to support users in identifying key points for consideration ;
• instances of Member State practice and expert recommendations ;
• a comprehensive glossary of defined terms used, which identify the source of definition as well as highlighting where a term may be confused with another, or alternatively also termed or referred to by a similar name ;
• overview of the international, European and national legal and policy frameworks, as well as international guidance on age assessment practice ;
• summary of the legal provisions, thematically categorised according to the procedural measure or safeguard they address, along with a reference to the relevant article of the legislation.

All the methods in use have their advantages and disadvantages, however no method currently available can tell with certainty the exact age of an individual. Also part of the reason for the variety and divergence in practice is because national law and legislation often inform which methods Member States may use. Therefore, it was felt at this stage that, rather than promote a particular method, recommendations should instead focus on promoting common procedures and approaches, which enable an efficient and effective system as foreseen in the asylum acquis and is respectful of children’s rights.

The key recommendations can be summarised as follows.
• In all actions undertaken the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration.
• Age assessment should only be undertaken where there are doubts about the claimed age, for the legitimate purpose of determining whether an individual is an adult or a child.
• Assessment should take a multidisciplinary and holistic approach.
• Before resorting to medical examination, consideration should first be given to documentary or other forms of evidence available.
• Age assessment should be performed with full respect for the individual’s dignity and the least invasive methods should be selected.
• Individuals and/or their representative should consent to the assessment and should be consulted in accordance with their age and level of maturity. Refusal to undergo an age assessment should not, in itself, result in refusal of the claim for protection.
• So that individuals may provide informed consent, they and/or their representative should be provided with information on the method, possible consequences of the result of the examination, as well as the consequences of refusal to undergo medical examination. Such information should be provided free of charge and be communicated in a language which they understand, or can be reasonably supposed to understand.
• If an individual disagrees with the outcome of an assessment there should be an opportunity for them to challenge the decision.
• All individuals involved should be provided with initial and on-going training relevant to their expertise. This should include training on the needs of children.

Publication (en anglais uniquement) disponible en version PDF ci-dessous :

Age assessment practice in Europe - EASO

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