The medico-legal assessment of asylum seeker victims in Italy
Introduction: Changing patterns of migration hasrequired states andgovernments to respond to the specific medical and legal needs of asylum seekers. Based on medical assessments undertaken at the University Institute of Legal Medicine, the present study aims to describe the cases of asylum applicants who have suffered from physical violence, including torture, and the variables involved. Methods: Over a 10-year period, 225 survivors were examined by clinical forensic professionals from the University Institute of Legal Medicine. Results:85% of asylum applicants came from Africa, 87% were male, and the most common age group was 26-40 years old. 46% of applicants fled their country for political reasons. Blunt force injuries were reported in 45% of cases, the trunk was the most affected area of the body (40%), and applicants presented with an average of two different mechanisms of lesions and an average of four lesions each. Discussion/conclusion:Assessment of physical violence on asylum seekers requires the cooperation of professionals with different skillsets and training.
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