Asylum: Fingerprints

Home Department written question – answered on 7th June 2007.

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Photo of Nick Clegg Nick Clegg Shadow Secretary of State (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce age restrictions on the fingerprinting of asylum seekers.

Photo of John Reid John Reid Home Secretary, The Secretary of State for the Home Department

We have no plans to change our policy on fingerprinting children who apply for asylum or who are the dependant of an asylum applicant. We currently start routine fingerprinting of asylum seekers at the age of five. Fingerprinting of asylum seeking children and dependants of asylum seekers who are aged under five years may be carried out when considered appropriate. Fingerprinting helps to protect children from being presented several times as dependants by different asylum applicants, provides us with a tool to combat possible trafficking operations and will help with identity management in the future.

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