Last year, Sweden took in over 163,000 asylum seekers, of which over 35,000 are claimed to be underage. In reality, quite a number of them are suspected to be adults. Age verification determines the treatment of the new arrivals as well as their level of responsibility in case of trial proceedings, which have been quite numerous. A significant amount of age manipulation cases, the most outrageous of which even drew the media's attention, has given rise to the colloquial meme "Löfven's bearded children' after PM Stefan Löfven, who has been a stalwart supporter of the country's immigration policy, which is by many rejected as "over-lenient".
"For the government's part, we are anxious to get started on a large scale as soon as possible," Morgan Johansson told Swedish Radio.
The current system of age assessment has been severely criticized by experts and laymen alike. The Swedish Pediatric Society proclaimed, for example, that it discouraged its members from using the current methods.
"Age assessment needs to be done carefully and with knowledge of the problems that exist. But provided you do so, this method is promising," she said.
According to the National Board, the Migration Board's own staff may handle the equipment required to administer age tests, whereas the necessary equipment should be available in ten places across the country. Later, MRI images are to be assessed by a doctor.
It must be added that medical age assessment today remains strictly voluntary. According to the Ministry of Justice, there are no plans of changing this.