A. (Eritrean) vs State Secretariat for Migration (Staatssekretariat für Migration - SEM)
According to EDAL,
On 4 March 2019, the Federal Administrative Tribunal of Switzerland overturned an asylum decision due to the lack of reasoning and evidentiary assessment on an applicant’s age claim. The Eritrean national applied for asylum as an UAM and the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) ordered a bone assessment to determine his age, which showed he was 18 years-old. The applicant claimed that he did not hold identity documents but that he had a baptism certificate and his student card. His claim was rejected due to the missing documents, the test results and his physical appearance. The SEM proceeded to issue a take charge request to Italy based on a Eurodac hit. Yet, Italy refused the request and the SEM proceeded to examine and reject his application, noting a late mention of draft evasion claims. On appeal, the Tribunal cited scientific sources documenting the margin of error of age assessment examinations, noting that after the age of 16 the bone analysis cannot attest for one’s age. Following the jurisprudence of the Committee of Appeals, the age result cannot call into question the statements of an applicant regarding his age unless the difference between the alleged age and the test result was more than three years. Although the test results cannot be used to officially determine whether the applicant is a minor, they can still be used to establish whether an applicant is attempting to mislead the authorities. The Tribunal further added that the SEM cannot conclude that the applicant is an adult without carrying out an overall assessment of the evidence, including the reasons why identity documents are missing. Conversely, the assessment of the officers conducting the hearing was arbitrary in considering the bone tests decisive in spite of their admittedly low probative value. The Tribunal annulled the contested decision and the case was remitted back to the SEM.
Assessment of Application; Credibility; Minor; Unaccompanied minors;
Switzerland,CH: Federal Administrative Court [Bundesverwaltungsgericht - Tribunal administratif fédéral - FAC], A. (Eritrean) vs State Secretariat for Migration (Staatssekretariat für Migration - SEM), 04/03/2019CH: Federal Administrative Tribunal ruled in a case related to the applicant's age assessment.