There is no specific reference to “lewd acts” between two females of the same offence. Prior to 1992, sodomy was illegal, then under the Sexual Offences Act the age of consent was set at 21 for sodomy . Then in 2001, the age of consent for male homosexual acts was lowered to 18 under the Criminal Justice Act 2001. In 2006, under the Sexual Offences Act 2006 the age of consent was lowered to 12, and became gender-neutral for all sexual conduct, regardless of sexual orientation or gender.

Most countries require young people to be at least 14 before having sex. Angola and the Philippines both set the age of consent at 12, which is the lowest in the world. Several other countries, including Niger and Japan, have designated 13 as the age of consent—although Japan has notoriously inconsistent consent laws that designate different ages of consent, ranging from 13 to 20, depending upon where one is in the country. Additionally, several countries in Asia and Africa require individuals to be married before they can legally have sex. These include Libya, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia, all of which are highly conservative on issues of gender and sexuality. The 2007 Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse asks States parties to set a minimum age for sexual consent, below which it is prohibited to engage in sexual activities with a child.

In January 1995, the Cypriot Government introduced a Bill in the Cypriot Parliament that would have abolished the ban. Strong opposition from the Eastern Orthodox Church meant the Bill stalled when referred to the Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee. The European Commission repeated its warning that Cyprus must follow the Court’s ruling.

Under section 47 it is an offence to pay for or promise payment for sexual services of a person under 18 where the client does not reasonably believe that person is over 18, or in any event for a person under 13. Relevant offences are found in the Criminal Law Act 2017, which amended the Criminal Law Act 2006. Sentences are longer for offences on children under 15, for repeat offences and where the offender is an authority-figure such as a close relative or teacher. In 1969, 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.

Sexual activity – typically by people over 16 – with people between 12 and 16 can be considered defilement of minors by lewd acts or corruption of a minor, which, at the discretion of prosecutors and the courts, depending on the circumstances, may result in a conviction. 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 age of consent for all sexual conduct in Cyprus under the 2002 Criminal Code is 17, regardless of sexual orientation or gender. The offence “initiating sexual contacts with minors under 14 through the use of computer system” is punishable by two years’ imprisonment . Let us remain vigilant, committed and determined to raise awareness, change laws and mentalities. In addition to strengthening the law, prevention and training actions must therefore be implemented with children, professionals and citizens to eradicate this violence.

The 1996 Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution Act regulates gratuitous sexual activity with partners younger than 18 and is often broadly interpreted by local authorities to include sexual situations that involve regular people rather than prostitutes. Moreover, the Penal Code Amendment Act of 1997 made it illegal to engage in an “indecent act” with anyone under 18 even if that person is a willing participant. This is also a “compoundable” offense, which means charges can be filed months later if a partner has regrets. As a result of these regulations, Thailand has a legal age of consent of 15, but an effective age of consent of 18. Thirty-one states set the age of consent as 16, eight set it as 17, and eleven set it as 18.

This became the punishment introduced in the Penal Code 1866, but now only for homosexual acts. For Mrs. Annick Billon, the senator behind the bill, the objective was to certify the prohibition of any sexual act glam and grit cowboy hats between an adult and a child. In fact, in order to qualify it as a crime or sexual assault, it was necessary to seek, as with practices between adults, elements of violence, constraint, threat or surprise.

In Japan, a person must reach the age of 20 to be considered an adult, and parental consent plays a significant role in legal issues affecting young people. While most European countries set as the age of consent, several others, including Malta and Vatican City, require young people to be at least 18 before legally having sex. Europe’s lowest age of consent is 14, which applies in countries including Austria, Italy, Serbia, Germany, and Portugal.

Paragraph 4 of Article 207 increases this exception to 4 years, with a minimum age of 12, for sexual acts not amounting to sexual intercourse or other acts “that can be equated with sexual intercourse” – essentially non-penetrative sexual contact. It is subject to the same additional conditions of article 206 . The vast majority of countries set their ages in the range of 14 to 16; only four countries, Cyprus , Ireland , Turkey and Vatican City , do not fit into this pattern. The laws can also stipulate which specific activities are permitted or specify the age at which one or other sex can legally participate. The highlighted age is that from which a young person can lawfully engage in a non-commercial sexual act with an older person, regardless of their age difference, provided the older one is not in a position of power, a relative, or is committing another form of exploitation . In some jurisdictions, including Italy and Hungary, there are exemptions if the age difference is within prescribed bounds.

The age of consent in the United States varies from 16 to 18 years old depending on the state. Sexual activity with a partner under the age of consent in that jurisdiction is considered statutory rape. In some jurisdictions, sexual activity between all-underaged participants can also be regarded as statutory rape. Prosecution for statutory rape can result in prison time ranging from 6 months to 10 years. The age of consent in Germany is 14 if both partners are under 18. Sexual activity with a person under 18 is punishable if the adult is a person of authority over the minor in upbringing, education, care, or employment.