Aruba, Honduras, Costa Rica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadies have the lowest age of consent in North America at 15. In the United States, the age of consent is determined individually by each state and ranges from 16 to 18. Most South American countries choose 14 as the age of consent, including Paraguay, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia and Ecuador. Chile and Argentina, however, have the highest age of consent in America at 18. All jurisdictions in North America by List of sovereign states and dependent territories in North America: The Civil Code also addresses the age of consent at the prefectural level (and sometimes municipalities within a prefecture). In Japan, a person must reach the age of 20 to be considered an adult, and parental consent plays an important role in legal issues affecting young people. Another article, 266 bis, provides for an additional penalty of up to half in certain circumstances – (a) if there are several offenders; (b) if the offence is committed by a parent, guardian, stepfather or «companion» (amasio) of the mother; (c) in the event of abuse of authority by a person as a public servant; (d) if the offence is committed by a person who keeps the minor in custody, custody or training, or nevertheless by breach of trust. A sentence of four to ten years would be imposed if the adult is a family member, guardian or caregiver of the minor or has a close relationship with the young person or his or her family. Costa Rica, as a member of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), adopted the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development in 2013, which recognizes the need to address the high number of teenage pregnancies in the region, which are commonly associated with forced marriage of women.
In 2016, the Montevideo Strategy for the Implementation of the Regional Programme for Gender Equality was also endorsed by ECLAC countries. This programme includes the commitments made by Governments over the past 40 years at regional women`s conferences in Latin America and the Caribbean regarding women`s rights and empowerment and gender equality. The Agenda reaffirms the right to live free from all forms of violence, including forced marriage and the coexistence of girls and youth. Obscene laws on minors, which take precedence over the penal code, contain age of consent laws for some prefectures. In some, sexual activity with people under the age of 15 is illegal, but in others, the age is 18. In these prefectures, sexual activity with a person under the age of consent can carry a prison sentence of up to five years. Although rare, in some prefectures, even hugging or holding hands with minors can be illegal. «At the end of the day, people need to understand that it`s wrong to have a relationship with a minor,» Solano said, adding that men in countries with similar laws «are now accustomed to asking girls their age when they meet them to avoid legal problems.» Article 167 prohibits «encouraging or facilitating the corruption of a person under the age of eighteen (…) by various sexual acts of carnal knowledge, even if the victim agrees to participate.» Legal aid – If you need legal assistance, it is best to contact your local embassy or consulate first.
In almost all Australian territories, including the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, the age of consent in Australia is 16. However, two Australian territories, Tasmania and South Australia, have raised the age of consent to 17. As in many countries, the age of consent increases to 18 if the oldest participant is in a position of care or authority (teacher, guardian, clergy, etc.) over the minor participant. Many jurisdictions have age-related exceptions that also vary by region. In North America, the legal age of consent to sexual activity varies by province or territory. Age of consent laws vary considerably from country to country. Most countries require young people to be at least 14 years old before having sex. But there are exceptions. Angola and the Philippines have both set the age of consent at 12, the lowest in the world. Several other countries, including Niger and Japan, have set the age of consent at 13 – although Japan has notoriously inconsistent consent laws that give different ages of consent ranging from 13 to 20 depending on where you are in the country.
In addition, 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 very conservative on issues of gender and sexuality. Article 169 prohibits «promoting, facilitating, managing, financing, inciting or in any way, publicly or privately, the use of persons under the age of eighteen in sexual or erotic acts.» According to article 227-25 of the Penal Code, the age of consent in France is generally 15 and 18 if the sexual act is with a parent or a person who has «legal or de facto authority» over the minor participant. Legal rape (or its local equivalent) is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of €75,000 (€83,226). The law was only passed in April 2018 following an outcry from two men accused of having sex with 11-year-old girls. The French government has decided to set the age at 13 or 15. The ten France territories have also set the age of consent at 15. The France has a Romeo and Juliet clause that disclaims liability if a person under the age of 15 has sex with someone within five years of their age. Under the Criminal Law Amendment Act 2013, the age of consent in India is 18. People under the age of 17 cannot legally consent to sexual activity, which could lead to prosecution for rape. In 1892, the age of consent was 10, but it gradually increased over time to 18. The age of consent should be lowered to 16, as many police-reported cases of sexual assault involve people between the ages of 16 and 18 who engage in consensual sex but are reported by disapproving parents.
UNICEF hailed the law as an important step towards protecting girls` rights and achieving the global goal of ending child marriage by 2030. One in five girls in this Central American country of five million people is married under Article 143. Sexual intercourse with parents or children, brothers or the relationship between adoptive parents and adoptive parents, with stepparents, if the victim is over eighteen (18) years of age, constitutes the crime of incest, is punishable by four (4) to six (6) years` imprisonment and continues upon complaint by the injured party or his legal representative. If the victim is over fourteen (14) years of age and under eighteen (18) years of age, the penalty shall be increased by one means (1/2). While most European countries set the age of consent at 16-17, several others, including Malta and Vatican City, require young people to be at least 18 before legally having sex. The lowest age of consent in Europe is 14, which applies in Austria, Italy, Serbia, Germany and Portugal. The Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution Act 1996 regulates gratuitous sexual activity with partners under the age of 18 and is often interpreted by local authorities to include sexual situations involving ordinary people rather than prostitutes. In addition, the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act 1997 made it illegal to commit an «indecent act» with a person under the age of 18, even if that person is a consenting participant. It`s also a «compound» crime, meaning charges can be laid months later if a partner (or parent) 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.
Thailand does not have an age-related exemption. In the United States, age of consent laws are enacted at the state, territorial and federal county levels. There are several federal laws to protect minors from sexual predators, but none of them set an age limit for sexual acts. On 26 June 2003, heterosexual and homosexual sodomy was prosecuted in all United States states, territories and districts under the United States Supreme Court`s decision Lawrence v. Texas (between consenting, non-commercial adults in a private room). In State v. Limon (2005), the Kansas Supreme Court used Lawrence as a precedent to repeal the state`s «Romeo and Juliet» law, which prohibits harsher sentences for heterosexuals than for homosexuals convicted of similar ages of consent offenses.  Alcohol consumption laws — Alcoholic beverages are sold every day of the week throughout the year, although some cantons prohibit the sale of alcohol in the days leading up to Easter. The legal drinking age is 18, although it is applied sporadically. Spirits, beer and wine are sold in liquor stores called Licoreras and in most supermarkets and convenience stores. The «age of consent» is the minimum age at which a person is considered legally capable of consenting to sexual acts.
A person younger than the age of consent (i.e. minor) cannot legally confirm that a sexual act in which they participated was consensual.