There are also different laws across the UK that specify age limits for young people in different circumstances. These include leaving care; the age of consent ;.
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- Sex, the law and you
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- BBC Radio 1 - BBC Advice - Age Of Consent
- Age of consent reform in the United Kingdom
It is illegal to take a sexual picture or video of anyone under 18, even if it is of yourself. It is also illegal to share it with someone else. Can young people get punished for breaking the law? At what age can I have sex? What is sexual assault? Different types of sexual assault include: Someone being touched in a sexual way that makes him or her feel uncomfortable or frightened.
This could be through their clothes like bottom pinching. Someone being made to masturbate Any other form of physical closeness that happens without consent is known as sexual assault. It can also include; watching other people having sex, 'sexting' texting sexual images , and forcing involvement in watching or making pornography. My boyfriend is Could he go to jail? Retrieved 25 May Robinson puts case for age of consent to be 14", The Times , 6 July ; "Consent to what? Retrieved 9 September The age of consent — Young people, Sexuality and Citizenship.
Sex, the law and you
National Council for Civil Liberties. Archived from the original on 17 June Retrieved 31 October A North-East teenager has been chosen to represent the region on a national board which looks at the important issues affecting teenage girls. Sarah Wilson, 15, of Edmondsley, near Chester-le-Street, was chosen to be the voice of the North on the Generation Wicked board - the first national teenage advisory board. Archived from the original on 17 October Retrieved 17 Oct Archived from the original on 4 May The prime minister has rejected a call from a leading expert on public health to lower the age of consent to Faculty of Public Health president Prof John Ashton said society had to accept that about a third of all boys and girls were having sex at 14 or Waites, Matthew , op.
Family and Household Change in Britain: Cited by Waites, Matthew , p. Young People, Heterosexuality and Power London: Guernsey Isle of Man Jersey. Civil partnership Same-sex marriage Adoption Military policy Age of consent manifestations Intersex rights Transgender rights. Pink pound Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. Retrieved from " https: Views Read Edit View history.
The European Commission repeated its warning that Cyprus must follow the Court's ruling. In May , again a government measure to repeal the ban failed because of the strength of the opposition. In April , the Council of Europe set a deadline for compliance of 29 May and on 21 May , the House of Representatives voted 36 to 8 in favour legalising homosexual acts. However it was set at 18 while heterosexual acts remained at In , under pressure from the EU  the parliament finally ended the disparate provisions and changed the age of consent to 17 for both heterosexual and homosexual acts, under the revised Criminal Code.
For both of these Sovereign Base Areas British military enclaves on the island of Cyprus, the age of consent is The age of consent in the Czech Republic is The Austrian Penal Code was not replaced in Czechoslovakia before Both changes were criticized.
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Until , homosexual sexual intercourse was illegal in Czechoslovakia. Between adults, payment receipt or provision and public nuisance were reasons for criminalization.
The age of consent in the Kingdom of Denmark is 15  as specified by Section In determining the penalty, it shall be an aggravating circumstance if the perpetrator has gained intercourse by exploiting his physical or mental superiority. Section , part 1, reads: The laws in the Faroe Islands and Greenland are equivalent although regulated in separate penal codes for these autonomous countries. Male homosexual acts were legalised in Denmark lesbianism was never illegal with an age of consent set at 18, after a major reform of the Penal Code in ; At the same time, the age of consent for heterosexual acts was raised from 12 to In , the age of consent was harmonized at 15 for all acts [ citation needed ].
Sex with a child under the age of 12 results in double punishment, and sex with a minor under 18 is illegal for a person in charge of this child. Until , "acts against nature" [anal intercourse] were punishable with the stakes. However, until the late 18th century the rule was never used, and, when it came into rule, the convicts were always pardoned to 7 years in jail. In , Denmark became the first country to legalise pictorial pornography ,  but this did not affect laws related to the age of people participating in its production.
Consequently, the legal age of consent 15 equaled the limit for pornography produced within the country, but material produced in other countries where the Danish consent law does not apply was not covered and therefore legal. The age of consent in Estonia is 14 , as specified by Section sexual intercourse with a child , which reads: Section defines rape as " Sexual intercourse with a person against his or her will by using force or taking advantage of a situation in which the person is not capable of initiating resistance or comprehending the situation "; and Section reads:.
When regaining independence from USSR in , the age of consent for male homosexual intercourse was set at 16, whereas the age for heterosexual intercourse was The age of consent was harmonized in when the law was amended, specifying an age of 14 for sexual intercourse. The age of consent in Finland is 16 , as specified by Section 6 1 Sexual abuse of a child , which reads: The sexual act may not be punishable if "there is no great difference in the ages or the mental and physical maturity of the persons involved".
The act may be punished as the lesser crime of "aggravated sexual abuse" rather than "rape" if courts determine there was no force or fear. The age is 18 when in connection with a person who has some formal power over the young person, like a school teacher. Until , homosexual acts were prohibited. After decriminalisation, the age of consent was set to 18 for homosexual acts and 16 for heterosexual acts. The age of consent is therefore The age of consent in France is 15 , as specified by Article of the Penal Code, which reads: Article prohibits the "organisation by an adult of meetings involving indecent exposure or sexual relations knowing that minors are present or participating".
Minors refers to under 18s; the text of the article can be subject to interpretation. Article prohibits the "soliciting of a minor under the age of fifteen, or a person pretending to be such minor, for sexual purposes through the use of a computer system". Male homosexual acts were illegal until , when the ancient sodomy laws were dropped from the Criminal Code of that year. This continued to be the case under the Napoleonic Code of The age of consent was set at 11 in and at 13 in In , the age of consent for homosexual acts was set at 21, while for heterosexual acts it was still The latter was increased to 15 in In , the age for homosexual acts was lowered to In , it was lowered to 15, in line with that for heterosexual acts.
The age of consent in Germany is 14 , as long as a person over the age of 21 does not exploit a to year-old person's lack of capacity for sexual self-determination, in which case a conviction of an individual over the age of 21 requires a complaint from the younger individual; being over 21 and engaging in sexual relations with a minor of that age does not constitute an offense by itself.
Otherwise the age of consent is 16, although provisions protecting minors against abuse apply until the age of 18 under Section 1: This is specified by Sections Sexual abuse of children and Sexual abuse of youths of the Penal Code, which read:. The current rules for age of consent in Germany were set following a post-reunification penal law reform in The ages of 14 and 16 had been relevant since the Criminal Code for the German Empire came into force in In West Germany the latter rule was kept, with minor changes in Unblemishedness was no longer required, and the court could refrain from punishment if the offender was under 21 years of age.
The German Democratic Republic , by contrast, created a new socialist criminal code in Female homosexuality was not prosecuted. In West Germany, male homosexuality was legalized in The age of consent was set to 21 years and reduced to 18 years in Only only men of 18 or older could be offenders and courts could refrain from punishment if the offender was not yet In East Germany, the criminal code was supplemented in by a provision that allowed the waiving of prosecution if no harm had been done to socialist society by the unlawful act.
In the GDR supreme court ruled homosexuality was a variant of sexual behaviour just as heterosexuality. West German law makers also saw the need for gender- and sexual-orientation-neutrality, and for rebalancing sexual self-determination with the protection of minors. In general, the need for a complaint from the former West German law was kept, but in the case of special public interest, the offence was made prosecutable ex officio, as had been the case in East German law.
The age of consent in Greece is The general provision for age of consent in Greece is 15 as specified by Article , as well as Articles , B of the Greek Penal Code. In , along with the legalization of same-sex civil unions , Article which provided a further prohibition of seducing a male under 17 if the actor is a male adult was repealed , therefore equalising age of consent for homosexual acts. There are also several other prohibitions regarding positions of authority and acts of lewdness, as specified by Articles and Furthermore, there is a close-in-age exemption of 3 years age difference for indecent acts between persons younger than The age of consent in Hungary is A close-in-age exemption allows sexual acts from age 12 if the older party is under The new criminal code in force since 1 July reads: Until homosexual acts were illegal.
After decriminalisation the age of consent for homosexual acts was 20 and remained so until From then until the age of consent for such acts was 18, as specified by Section In the Hungarian Constitutional Court repealed Section and the age of consent for homosexual acts was lowered to 14 in line with heterosexual acts. The age of consent in Iceland is 15 , as specified by Section of the Icelandic Penal Code, which reads: The age of consent was raised from 14 to 15 in The age of consent in Ireland is 17 ,  in relation to vaginal, oral, or anal sex, and vaginal or anal penetration.
In the case of offenses with children aged 15 and 16, the relevant statute, Sexual act with child under 17 years of age , provides that "8 Where, in proceedings for an offence under this section against a child who at the time of the alleged commission of the offence had attained the age of 15 years but was under the age of 17 years, it shall be a defence that the child consented to the sexual act of which the offence consisted where the defendant— a is younger or less than 2 years older than the child, b was not, at the time of the alleged commission of the offence, a person in authority in respect of the child, and c was not, at the time of the alleged commission of the offence, in a relationship with the child that was intimidatory or exploitative of the child.
Anal sex was illegal under the Offences against the Person Act , while the Criminal Law Amendment Act criminalised "Defilement of girl between thirteen and sixteen years of age", with more severe penalties for "Defilement of girl under thirteen years of age". The Carrigan Report into child sex abuse and underage prostitution recommended raising the age of consent to 18 years.
The Criminal Law Sexual Offences Act decriminalised male homosexual acts and created offences of " Buggery of persons under 17 years of age" and " Gross indecency with males under 17 years of age". It advised that close-in-age cases should remain criminalised, but with more lenient guidelines for sentencing. It also recommended wider publicity of the age limits. The age of consent in Italy is 14 years, with a close-in-age exception that allows those aged 13 to engage in sexual activity with partners who are under the age of 18, provided that the age gap between them is less than 3 years.
The age of consent rises to 16 if one of the participants has some kind of influence on the other e. Not knowing that the victim is underage is not a legal defense, except when it was unavoidable ignorance. If the minor involved is under the age of 11, the crime can be punished even without a complaint and the punishment is aggravated. It is also illegal to perform sexual acts in the presence of a minor aged less than 14 with the intent of allowing the minor to witness the acts, even if they do not take an active part.
See also more related articles from Interpol. The age of consent in Kazakhstan is 16 , according to article of the Crime Criminal Code. Sexual Intercourse and Other Actions of a Sexual Character with a Person Under Sixteen Years of Age Sexual intercourse, sodomy, or lesbianism or other acts of sexual nature, with a person who did not reach sixteen years of age , the guilty party being aware of that fact, shall be punished by restriction of freedom for a period up to three years, or by detention under arrest for a period up to six months, or deprivation of freedom for a period up to five years.
The age of consent in Kosovo is Article of the Penal Penalty Code states that "Term 'Consent' means the voluntary agreement of a person who has reached the age of sixteen years to engage in the sexual act in question", and Article states that, 1. Whoever subjects another person to a sexual act without such person's consent shall be punished by imprisonment of two 2 to ten 10 years". Sections and provide harsher penalties for rape and forcible sexual assault of juveniles.
Until , male homosexual acts were illegal under Section This provision was repealed by the Latvian Parliament in and the age of consent for male homosexual acts was set at In , the Latvian Parliament adopted a new Criminal Code that contained a complex system of sexual offences: In , the law was amended to clarify the situation and confirm that the age of consent was 16 for all acts only a person aged 18 or older can be punished for having sex with a 14—15 year old.
The age of consent in Liechtenstein is Sexual activity with 14—15 year olds is generally legal, but it can still be punished if sexual access to these children has been obtained by exploiting their lack of sexual self-determination. The age of consent 14 was not set directly in this article of the Lithuanian criminal code, though. It has been established by the Lithuanian case law. This meant that both heterosexual and homosexual acts were allowed once a child had reached the age of 14 [ citation needed ].
There was and remains an exception to this rule: Until , male homosexual acts were prohibited under the Lithuanian Criminal Code, Article , which was repealed in that year.
BBC Radio 1 - BBC Advice - Age Of Consent
The new law set an age of consent of 17 for male oral and anal intercourse, 16 for other male homosexual acts, and 14 for lesbian and heterosexual acts. In , the law was amended to equalise the age of consent at 14 for all sexual acts; the age of consent was raised to 16 in , regardless of gender and sexual orientation. The age of consent in Luxembourg is 16 , as specified by the Luxembourgish Penal Code, Article , which reads: The penalty will be imprisonment of five to ten years if the child was less than eleven years old.
Article 1 of the Criminal Code of Macedonia prohibits sexual conduct with a "child" and a "child" is defined by Article 71 as a person under However, Article prohibits an adult living in an extra-marital community with a Juvenile under The age of consent in Malta is Art of Chapter 9 of the Laws of Malta Presumption of violence in cases of carnal knowledge and indecent assault states:. The punishment is imprisonment from three to nine years, with or without solitary confinement, as described in Art.
The punishment can be increased in certain cases described in Art. A number of aggravating circumstances exist to this blanket provision including: Abuse of parental authority or tutorship, where the victim is under the age of 12 and if the offence is committed by means of threats or deceit. There is no definition of how old the offender must be: Even another minor can be guilty of this crime,  although there is no evidence that any such case has ever been prosecuted.
The interpretation of the law is situational and at the discretion of the prosecution and the courts, based on relevant factors that may be taken into account to decide whether the minor was actually "defiled". For example, in two brothers, aged 19 and 20, were found not guilty of defiling a girl, then aged 16 until the age of consent was Their sexual encounters were consensual, and it was clear that the girl had had several previous sexual adventures with several youths.
He had set up a situation in which the boy came to his apartment; as a result of both childish curiosity and what the court deemed to be the guile of the adult man, the boy remained in the apartment even while man first showered and then committed the lewd acts. In the wording of the law there is no discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. However, discrimination can result from selective enforcement with regard to individual cases. Marriage is allowed as early as the age of 16, which until May theoretically would have allowed a case to arise in which a spouse press charges under this article.
In practice, this problem has never arisen. The concept of age-banding employed in for example Canada is not present in the Maltese legal system and sexual activity between one partner who is 15 years old and another who is 16 years old can constitute defilement of minors, depending on the circumstances, with no exception being allowed purely on the basis of the proximity of their ages. The primary objective of the Act is to transpose the Council of Europe Convention on prevention and combating of violence against women and domestic violence, and it also includes amendments that lowered the age of consent to The age of consent in Moldova is 16 , per Article " Sexual intercourse with a person under 16 ", and Article " Perverted Actions ".
Articles and provide harsher penalties for Rape and Violent Sexual Actions including physical or mental coercion against juveniles. The age of consent in Monaco is The age of consent in Montenegro is 14 , as set out in Article of the Criminal Code. Article makes it illegal for a teacher, instructor, guardian, adoptive parent, stepfather, stepmother or other person with a similar position to abuse one's position or authority in order to perform sexual intercourse or an equal act with a minor under 18 entrusted for teaching, education, custody and care.
Age of consent reform in the United Kingdom
Article 2 makes it illegal for a person to "provide for performing debauchery, an act equal to it or some other sexual act to a minor". Article prohibits "Extramarital community with a minor" Article reads: The age of consent in the Netherlands is 16 , as specified by the Dutch Criminal Code at Article ,  and Article  which read:. Close-in-age exceptions for consensual acts between adolescents close in age, within "social-ethical norms" are at the discretion of the prosecution. In the s, the Netherlands gained international attention due to its policies regarding the age of consent.
Between and  the Netherlands operated what was in effect an age of consent of 12, subject to qualifications. The relevant law, passed in November, , permitted sexual intercourse for young people between 12 and 16 in most circumstances, but allowed a challenge by parents or by the Child Protection Agency if there was evidence of exploitation. The Netherlands has gained an international reputation of being extremely liberal on sexual issues, with some of this due to exaggerated reports in foreign media and claims by foreign politicians, rather than based on reality.
For instance, during the s, some conservative campaigners in the US claimed that children were sold into sexual slavery at "auctions" held in Amsterdam , but did not produce any evidence to support their claims. Prior to , sodomy was illegal, the age of consent only applied to females and sexual contact with a female between the ages of 13 and 16 was a misdemeanor.
As of , the age of consent is set at 16 for both males and females, sexual contact with any child under 16 regardless of gender is a felony and the ban on sodomy is lifted, thereby legalizing homosexual sex. Even though one may be found guilty of violating the age of consent code, if those involved are "about equal as regards age and development", the court can exercise its own discretion to suspend passing a sentence.
Sexual relations between two women was never explicitly criminalized, but have been prosecuted under the general indecency law of the Civil Penal Code of The ban on sex between men, which also outlawed cohabitation  as well as sex with animals, was repealed in   bestiality having been recriminalized in .
According to the Svalbard Treaty, Norwegian law is applied as the minimum standard. The same punishment shall be imposed on anyone, who records pornographic material with the participation of such a person.