Pediatrician: - Some are 40-year-olds

Pediatrician: - Some are 40-year-olds
SWEDEN: The age of unaccompanied refugee children to Sweden has several times been questioned, and now the Migration Board has decided that many, if not most of the children will be returned as soon as they turn 18 - on paper.

Now pediatrician Josep Milerad claims that some of the children he has met actually are 40 years old.

- It is of course only some, but they are definitely between 30 and 40 years old, he says to Expressen.

There are approximately 31,000 unaccompanied children that have sought asylum and registered with the Migration Board at the moment.

But more and more are questioning their age, and believe that many asylum seekers say they are younger than their true age is to obtain a residence permit in the country.

It has led to a heated debate about the age testing and medical tests.

Josep Milerad, a pediatrician for 41 years and Associate Professor at the Department of Children's and Women's Health at the Karolinska Institute, has examined many persons who the Migration Board has classed as children, but he believes that nearly 40 percent of those he met are between 20 and 25 years old - and some as old as 40.

- I think my assessment, although I can not use it as evidence, fits pretty well - there is a difference between a 16-year-old and a 20-year-old. And some are definitely between 30 and 40 years old.

Because the issue is so controversial, Milerad believes that several of his colleagues do not dare say the same as him. This is because they are afraid of being labeled xenophobic.

- This is such an incredibly emotionally charged issue - I'm not sure rational arguments are accepted. Many have in such a categorical way decided that today's age testing is unethical, that we can not use it, but I hope we can have a debate on other aspects of this, says Josef Milerad.

Read: Sweden finds a solution to unaccompanied refugee 'children' problem

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