EURODAC: UN and civil society organisations speak out agains coercion to obtain children’s fingerprints and facial images
A new EURODAC proposal being considered by the European Commission, Council and Parliament expands the purpose of the current database of asylum applicants to facilitate the identification of “irregularly staying third country nationals” through the use of biometric data. It also lowers the age at which a child must be registered from 14 to six.
This could allow national authorities to use coercion to obtain fingerprints and facial images of children. The claim that obtaining biometric data by coercion is necessary to protect children from going missing, being exploited or ‘absconding’ is misguided.
The identification and registration of children contributes to their protection within and across borders. This must be done in a child-sensitive and child protective manner and the best interests of the child must be a primary consideration in such matters.