Nearly three-quarters of 'child asylum seekers' subjected to examination in 2019 were found to be adults, according to figures produced by Belgian officials.
MP Tom van Grieken requested the information, which was produced by Justice Minister Koen Geens, SCEPTR reports.
Out of 4,563 migrants who declared themselves to be underage in 2019, authorities doubted those claims in 2,546 cases.
Subsequently, further testing conducted upon those individuals revealed that 73.7 percent were 18 or older.
"Asylum seekers who are caught in age fraud should be denied the right to asylum,” said Van Grieken.
“Those who allow this abuse to go unpunished only encourage others to take their chances as well. In this way you create a further suction effect."
As SCEPTR's Tom Lallemand notes, 'unaccompanied minors' are afforded special privileges under national and international laws which shield them from deportation, ensure a wealth of benefits and financial assistance, as well as the ability to function as an anchor for chain migration by other family members.
"This figure leaves little room not to talk about systematic abuse and deception on a large scale," said MP Dries van Langenhove, adding that those committing age fraud should be forced to pay for the investigation into their status.
These findings from Belgium align with those from other European countries in recent years.
In 2017, the Swedish government tested nearly 8,000 migrants claiming to be underage and found roughly 6,600 were adults.
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