Border Agency halts x-ray programme for child asylum seekers

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The UK Border Agency has been forced to suspend its controversial programme to x-ray the teeth of child asylum seekers to help determine their age, following the chief medical officer’s demands that it seek ethical approval from the NHS.

The agency’s asylum director, Zilla Bowell, admitted that it had not considered it would require ethical approval and had “paused” the programme while it sought formal permission. The move is a profound embarrassment for the Home Office, the agency’s parent department, which has also faced criticism from the UK’s four children’s commissioners and immigration lawyers and a torrent of questions about its intentions from education ministers responsible for children’s welfare.
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