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Forensic age assessment of asylum seekers in Finland.

Metsäniitty, Mari; Varkkola, Olli; Waltimo-Sirén, Janna; Ranta, Helena.
Int J Legal Med; 131(1): 243-250, 2017 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27885431
In Finland, forensic age assessment is strictly regulated by legislation. According to the Aliens Act (301/2004) and the amendment of the Act (549/2010), the police authorities, the frontier guard authorities, and the immigration authorities have the right to refer asylum seekers to the University of Helsinki, Department of Forensic Medicine, for age assessment. These assessments are especially performed to solve if the person is of major age, the cutoff being 18 completed years. The forensic age assessment is largely based on dental development, since the special permit of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) to the Department of Forensic Medicine of the University of Helsinki, allowing the use of ionizing radiation for non-medical purposes, includes dental and hand X-rays. Forensic age assessment is always performed by two forensic odontologists. In 2015, the total number of forensic age assessment examinations was 149, and the countries of origin of the asylum seekers were most commonly Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia. The current legislation on forensic age assessment has been well received and approved. Radiological and other examinations can be performed in different parts of Finland, but the forensic odontologist at the University of Helsinki is always involved in the process and ensures joint quality standards for the forensic age assessment.