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Where are all the girls? Third all-male group of Muslim migrant ‘children’ begin their journey from the Calais Jungle to the UK

A third group of Muslims ‘child’ refugees are on their way to Britain after being loaded into a minivan in France.

Pictures of those being bussed over appeared to show all were male once again, as the group boarded a vehicle in Saint Omer ahead of their journey from Calais to the UK.

It comes as it emerged the teenage refugee in Calais who Lily Allen apologised to ‘on behalf of my country’ had arrived in Britain to begin a new life.

Shamsher Sherin, 13, reduced the singer to tears during a BBC interview to highlight the plight of unaccompanied children living in the squalid Jungle camp.

Meanwhile, the row over the age of migrants arriving in the UK intensified with the Home Office revelation that nearly two-thirds of child refugees quizzed about their real age last year were found to be adults.

In the 12 months to September last year, 65 per cent were found to be aged over 18.

The figures show the scale of how adult migrants try to deceive the UK authorities in a bid to be granted sanctuary.

They emerged after Tory MPs raised questions about the ages of 28 refugees brought to the UK this week from the Calais Jungle.

Yesterday, one migrant in particular, wearing a blue hoodie with stubble on his chin, was rated by a facial recognition program as having the features of a 38-year-old.

He was one of 14 to be bussed to Croydon from the notorious Jungle camp shanty town before it is demolished by the French authorities.

They followed 14 who arrived on Monday, as Britain works to reunite unaccompanied youngsters from war-torn countries with family members in the UK.

A Home Office spokesman refused to confirm how many child refugees were due to arrive in Britain today, or whether any were female.

Meanwhile, former Home Secretary Jack Straw today backed calls for child refugees to be subject to age tests.

He said the large number of over-18 migrants deceiving authorities by posing as children will ‘undermine public confidence’ in Britain’s asylum system.

Mr Straw said there was also a problem with the number of economic migrants pretending to be refugees and said the best way to deal with the migrant crisis is to house them nearer to their country of origin.

He told Sky News: ‘Officials made a judgment, we have to accept that judgment, but if there is a case for dental checks, I would certainly not as Home Secretary have ruled that out.

‘What I would say to those supporting increase in numbers of refugees to come to this country is this. If it turns out those coming in here are over 18 – and the truth will emerge after a while – then it will undermine public confidence in the whole system.

‘So having tests, providing they are not too intrusive and invasive is actually a sensible thing to do for everyone concerned.’

He added: ‘Most of them are economic migrants and you have to be pretty firm about this.

‘Part of the problem with the issue of whether they are children is you have got to test their age because you will understandably always get quite a lot of people who, knowing that it’s easier to get in because they are younger will pretend they are under 18 when they are not.

‘My own view is that the best place to deal with refugees is near to their country of origin.

‘Some of those who are at Calais are genuine refugees but an awful lot are economic migrants.

‘Our international obligations are to people who have a well-founded fear of persecution from the State from which they come.’

Elsewhere, Tory MP David Davies has been condemned by dentists after last night calling for tests on teeth to verify the age of child migrants.

Meanwhile, official figures show that in the year ending September 2015, some 590 asylum applicants had their age disputed. Of those, 574 had an age assessment – with 371 were found to be adults.

Since 2006 there have been 11,121 age disputes. Of those, 4,828 – or 43 per cent – were found to have been adults.

Safe Passage, the migrant arm of charity Citizen UK, has been identifying children in the Jungle. Sources say it insists on seeing a document which states the names, ages and addresses of their relatives plus evidence such as family pictures.

Today a group of child refugees were loaded into a minivan ahead of their journey from Calais

All smiles: Child migrants are loaded into a van in Saint Omer ahead of their journey to Britain

Migrants are then interviewed by a psychologist who reports to the Home Office, which conducts more checks before they are allowed to cross the Channel.

However, it has emerged the Home Office has no way of verifying the migrants’ ages before they come to Britain, stoking concerns about adults posing as children to take advantage of the scheme.

Officials insist the migrants have undergone rigorous interviews and document checks to establish they are aged under 18.

But it has emerged that this is simply a screening process where they are verified as a child based on their ‘physical appearance’ and ‘demeanour’, with social workers signing off an ‘age assessment’.

A Home Office spokesman admitted that routine medical tests, such as checking dental records, have not been carried out because it could be ‘intrusive’.

They added that children may appear older ‘because war has toughened them up’.

The spokesman said: ‘We work closely with the French authorities and their partner agencies to ensure all those who come to the UK from the camps in Calais are eligible under the Dublin regulations.

‘All individuals are referred to the UK authorities by the France terre d’asile (FTDA) and are then interviewed by French and UK officials.

‘Where credible and clear documentary evidence of age is not available, criteria including physical appearance and demeanour are used as part of the interview process to assess age.’

Britain is taking in dozens of youngsters from war zones including Afghanistan, Syria and Sudan.

As unaccompanied children, they are entitled to move to the UK under EU asylum law if they have families in Britain.

But the Home Office does not begin rigorous verification of their claimed ages until after they arrive in Britain, charity workers have told the Mail.

Until then, UK officials largely rely on checks made by charities working in the Jungle.

But after the blue-clad migrant’s photograph was widely published online yesterday, some wondered about his age.

Analysis of his picture by Microsoft’s face recognition program How Old Do I Look? suggested he had the facial features of a 38-year-old, although the software company cautioned it was just an estimate.

And Dr Ross Perry, medical director of the Harley Street skin clinic Cosmedics, said: ‘It is very difficult to assess someone’s age based on just one photograph, but I would guess he is late 30s to early 40s.

‘The wrinkles around the eyes are the tell-tale sign, and the loss of volume in the cheeks.

“This is just a joke. Some of these people are clearly not children, they’re not even young men”
Tory MP David Davies

‘He doesn’t look like a child. But then if he has been living in a war zone, it could well have aged him prematurely, and it is impossible to know without meeting him.’

As he left the immigration centre in Croydon last night, the migrant in the blue hoodie was clutching a piece of paper entitled: ‘Application for biometric resident permit.’

The 14 youngsters were taken to temporary foster homes, where they will stay until social workers have interviewed their British-based relatives to ensure their homes are safe for them to live in.

Last night Tory MP David Davies said: ‘This is just a joke. Some of these people are clearly not children, they’re not even young men.

‘This one has got lines around his eyes, lines on his face and what appears to be flecks of grey in his hair.

‘There is no way of knowing if someone is a child. We could end up causing even more misery if we are not careful. We should invite anyone who wants to come to the UK to take dental tests.’

Mr Davies was condemned by dentists after calling for tests on teeth to verify the age of child migrants.

The British Dental Association (BDA) said demands by the Monmouth MP for testing on those heading to Britain from the Jungle refugee camp were ‘inappropriate and unethical’.

Mr Davies, chairman of the Commons Welsh Affairs Select Committee, said mandatory dental checks would reassure the public the system was not being exploited.

But a BDA spokesman said: ‘We are vigorously opposed to the use of dental X-rays to determine whether asylum seekers have reached 18.

‘It’s not only an inaccurate method for assessing age, but it is both inappropriate and unethical to take radiographs of people when there is no health benefit for them.

‘X-rays taken for a clinically justified reason must not be used for another purpose without the patient’s informed consent, without coercion and in full knowledge of how the radiograph will be used and by whom.’

Doctors of the World, which works in Calais, condemned Mr Davies’s stance as ‘unethical, inappropriate and divisive’ and called for disciplinary action to be taken against the MP.

Leigh Daynes, the charity’s executive director, said: ‘It’s as unethical as it is inappropriate to expect healthcare workers to conduct tests on patients for immigration enforcement purposes.

‘Health staff are not border guards; and in any event such tests have been shown to be unreliable.’

She added: ‘Such is the seriousness of Mr Davies’s unethical and divisive remarks that we are asking his party chairman to consider disciplinary action.’

Mr Davies defended his stance, saying the authorities should not be ‘naive’ about the issue of adults trying to get into the UK.

“We are vigorously opposed to the use of dental X-rays to determine whether asylum seekers have reached 18”
British Dental Association

He said refugees who had been through an ordeal to reach the UK would not be concerned about having their age checked.

‘We must not be naive about this. It’s no good Lily Allen turning up with tears in her eyes and all the rest of it – we need to be quite hard-nosed here,’ he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

‘People are desperate, I understand that, and they will say what they need to say to get in.

‘When I was in the camp in Calais there were caravans with notices on saying “Come here, we will coach you in what to say to get into the UK”.’

He added: ‘People in Britain, I think, want to help children but we don’t want to be taken for a free ride either by people who seem to have got to the front of the queue even though they clearly look, in some cases, a lot older than 18.’

Mr Davies also said he did not accept that it was ‘intrusive’ to take an X-ray of a migrant.

The Jungle refugee camp could be closed imminently after a French court rejected an appeal from aid groups to delay the clearance.

French authorities are expected to empty the migrant camp in Calais in the coming weeks and dismantle it by the start of winter.

A Lille court has rejected a request from aid groups to postpone the closure, arguing that authorities are not ready to relocate its residents.

Charity groups warned that many of the migrants do not want to stay in France and may set up camp elsewhere to continue trying to cross the English Channel to Britain.

The French interior and housing ministers welcomed the court’s ruling and said the camp should be dismantled before winter sets in.

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