CMW/C/GC/4-CRC/C/GC/23 organizations, national human rights institutions and other stakeholders from every region of the world between November 2015 and August 2017. II. Legal obligations of States parties to protect the rights of children in the context of international migration in their territory A. Age 3. The definition of the child under the Convention on the Rights of the Child provides rights and protection until the age of 18. The Committees are concerned that children between 15 and 18 years tend to be provided much lower levels of protection, and are sometimes considered as adults or left with an ambiguous migration status until they reach 18 years of age. States are urged to ensure that equal standards of protection are provided to every child, including those above the age of 15 years and regardless of their migration status. In accordance with the Guidelines for Alternative Care of Children, 2 States should provide adequate follow-up, support and transition measures for children as they approach 18 years of age, particularly those leaving a care context, including by ensuring access to long-term regular migration status and reasonable opportunities for completing education, access to decent jobs and integrating into the society they live in. 3 The child should be adequately prepared for independent living during this transition period, and competent authorities shall ensure adequate follow-up of the individual situation. The Committees additionally encourage States to take protective and support measures beyond the age of 18 years. 4. To make an informed estimate of age, States should undertake a comprehensive assessment of the child’s physical and psychological development, conducted by specialist paediatricians or other professionals who are skilled in combining different aspects of development. Such assessments should be carried out in a prompt, child-friendly, gendersensitive and culturally appropriate manner, including interviews of children and, as appropriate, accompanying adults, in a language the child understands. Documents that are available should be considered genuine unless there is proof to the contrary, and statements by children and their parents or relatives must be considered. The benefit of the doubt should be given to the individual being assessed. States should refrain from using medical methods based on, inter alia, bone and dental exam analysis, which may be inaccurate, with wide margins of error, and can also be traumatic and lead to unnecessary legal processes. States should ensure that their determinations can be reviewed or appealed to a suitable independent body. B. Right to liberty (articles 16 and 17 of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child) 5. Every child, at all times, has a fundamental right to liberty and freedom from immigration detention. 4 The Committee on the Rights of the Child has asserted that the detention of any child because of their or their parents’ migration status constitutes a child 2 3 4 2 General Assembly resolution 64/142, annex. See Committee on the Rights of the Child, report of the 2012 day of general discussion on the rights of all children in the context of international migration, paras. 68-69. Available from www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/CRC/Discussions/2012/DGD2012ReportAndRecommendatio ns.pdf. Convention on the Rights of the Child, art. 37; International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, arts. 16 and 17; Universal Declaration of Human Rights, arts. 3 and 9; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, art. 9.