False information concerning age

The author is from Damascus, Syria. He submits that he fled Syria in March 2015 because of the war, and that he entered Greece in April of the same year as an unaccompanied minor. After running out of funds in Greece, he applied for asylum and was granted refugee status. However, his attempts to get the support of the Greek authorities to find an accommodation failed. Due to the very difficult living conditions in Greece and the lack of prospects of improvements, the author fled to Denmark and applied for asylum.

The author’s application for asylum was rejected on the grounds that Greece was his first country of asylum. The author then informed his counsel that he had initially provided false information concerning his age in Greece because he had been advised that, as isolated migrant minors were systematically detained in Greece, he should identify himself as an adult. Additionally, as he was not sure whether the legal adult age in Greece was 18 or 21, he opted for stating that he was 21 years old. Consequently, he was registered by the Greek authorities as an adult with false date of birth of 1 June 1995. The author further submitted that he provided the same false information to the Danish authorities for the same reason. However, his correct birthdate is 1st June 2000. The author thus requested for his case to be reopened but his request was rejected. Thus, a complaint was sent to CCPR.

The committee considers that in deciding the author’s asylum request, the authorities and the State Party relied on inconsistencies of the family book and the author’s initial statements that he was an adult. However, in the particular circumstances, such inconsistencies did not exempt the state party from taking others reasonable measures to remove doubts concerning the author’s age and he’s right to obtain the special measures of protection that would have been available for minors. Consequently, the committee considers that the removal of the author to increase would amount to a violation of CCPR.

2. July 2023

CCPR 2770/2016
  • Decision: 30. November 2017
  • Comm: Human Rights