Underaged asylum seekers in the Netherlands are in any case entitled to shelter, guidance and training. In case of doubt, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) must investigate the age. Sometimes literally to the bone. Upon entry into the Netherlands, an asylum seeker who claims to be a minor and cannot demonstrate this with identity documents must undergo an "age check". Doing these checks, it is especially difficult to estimate the age of young people "between the ages of sixteen and twenty one," says IND employee Irene, who trains her colleagues on this. Read how the Dutch immigration service investigates whether an asylum seeker is a minor.
Sudanese Khalaf is now 19. He arrived in the Netherlands 4 years ago. Khalaf is one of the nearly 12,000 unaccompanied minors who have come to our country in the past ten years. His flight story did not provide sufficient grounds for a residence permit, the Immigration and Naturalization Service ruled. Experts are concerned. Children's rights are now insufficiently guaranteed in Dutch immigration law. Children should be given priority in proceedings and there should be a special children's rights test, which takes a close look at the risk of return to the child's development. Should the public interest of migration restriction be secondary to the best interests of the child? How child-friendly is the Dutch asylum policy? Argos outlines the story of Khalaf and the dilemmas and risks in assessing the flight story of underage asylum seekers.
In this storymap you follow the journey of Khalaf, a Sudanese boy who fled to the Netherlands at the age of 13. A journey of almost two years, straight through Africa and Europe.