• Breaking News

    Saturday, 27 June 2015

    The age of consent in other countries

    The age of sexual consent in the country has become a subject of debate since Prosecutor General Mr Johannes Tomana argued that children as young as 12 can consent to sexual activities.

    Some sections of society have said that the obtaining legislation pertaining to the age of consent and child marriage needs to be re-aligned to the Constitution, if incidences of young children indulging in sexual activities are to be curbed.

    The current Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act 9:23 as currently read says: 64 (1) A person accused of engaging in sexual intercourse, anal sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct with a young person of or under the age of 12 years shall be charged with rape, aggravated indecent assault or indecent assault, as the case may be, and not with sexual intercourse or performing an indecent act with a young person, or sodomy.
    The age of consent in other countries
    (2) A person accused of engaging in sexual intercourse, anal sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct with a young person above the age of 12 years but of or below the age of 14 years shall be charged with rape, aggravated indecent assault or indecent assault, as the case may be, and not with sexual intercourse or performing an indecent act with a young person or sodomy, unless there is evidence that the young person

    (a) was capable of giving consent to the sexual intercourse, anal sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct; and (b) gave his or her consent thereto.

    However legal experts argue that it is those small allowances given by the law as it currently reads, that are interpreted to mean that where someone is charged with an offence of having sexual relations or performing indecent acts with a young person between 12 and 16, and it is proved that the girl consented to the act, the courts usually do not give harsh sentences.

    Closer to home in South Africa, it is not a criminal offence for children aged between 12 and 16 to engage in consensual sexual activities with each other.

    The law in South Africa came into being after a legal challenge by two child rights organisations that challenged certain provisions of the Sexual Offences Act.

    They requested that the law be deemed unconstitutional as it infringed on the children’s rights to dignity and privacy.

    In Botswana, Zambia and Namibia the age of sexual consent is 16.

    Outside the Southern Africa region, Nigeria has the age of sexual consent pegged at 11, passed through a Sexual Offences Act which prescribes life imprisonment for rapists and those who have sexual intercourse with children below 11 years. ln Egypt the consenting age is 18.

    The average age for sexual consent across Asia is roughly 14,5 years, while in the United States of America the legal age of consent is 16, as determined by the state.

    In most Muslim countries, the age of sexual consent is not defined, but the partners must be married. Sadly, media reports indicate that girls are married off when they are as young as six. Sunday Mail


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