Authorities will in the future be allowed to take the fingerprints of refugee children as a young as six when they first enter Germany, interior ministers agreed on Wednesday.
State and federal interior ministers, who met in Dresden on Wednesday, said that the current minimum age for taking the fingerprints of a child would be lowered from 14 to six. The move was justified as a means of preventing asylum seekers from applying twice for protection.
But the change was harshly criticized by legal experts.
"We don't have a security problem among children," said Sven Rebehn, chairman of the German Association of Judges.