Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Cameroon's Constitutional Court rejects last petition for re-run

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Music stars, French art and a dead cat's renaissance

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Khashoggi Affair: Evidence mounts against Saudi Crown Prince

Read more

#TECH 24

Next stop space: Japanese company constructing nanotube 'space lift'

Read more

#THE 51%

The Gender Divide: Record number of women running in U.S. midterms

Read more

REPORTERS

Reporters: Brexit, a sea of uncertainty for fishermen

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Fishing in France's Grau du Roi harbour, a family tradition

Read more

FOCUS

French education reforms under tight scrutiny

Read more

ENCORE!

FIAC 2018: Paris's one-stop shop for Contemporary Art collectors

Read more

Europe

After uproar over two child sex cases, France to set age of consent at 15

© Lionel Bonaventure, AFP | French Junior Minister for Gender Equality Marlene Schiappa addresses deputies during a session of questions to the Government on December 12, 2017 at the National Assembly in Paris

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2018-03-07

France plans to make 15 the threshold age of consent to sexual relations after a public outcry over two cases of sex involving 11-year-old girls, Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa said Monday.

After public consultations and the recommendation of a panel of experts, “the government has decided to set the age at 15”, Schiappa told AFP.

The issue was brought to the fore after critics and lawmakers said French laws had allowed two men to escape rape charges when they were accused of sex with underage girls.

Any sexual act by an adult with a child younger than 15 can be prosecuted as a sexual offence under current French law.

But prosecutors hoping to charge an offender with rape must prove the sex was forced, a more complicated question when pre-teens are involved.

>> Read more: Age of non-consent on trial in France amid controversial rulings

In November, a 30-year-old man was acquitted of the rape of an 11-year-old girl after the court determined she had not been subjected to “constraint, threat, violence or surprise”.

In another case involving an 11-year-old girl, a 28-year-old man had faced charges of sexual relations with a minor, rather than rape a decision that enraged the girl’s family.

But last month the court reversed course and said the man should indeed face rape charges, though it asked for the trial to be moved to a higher court.

Since then lawmakers and child-protection groups have been urging the government to set a minimum age of consent, as is the case in many European countries, with suggested ages ranging from 13 to 15.

Schiappa said she was “very glad” that the government had chosen 15, as recommended by a panel of doctors and legal experts, an age long sought by associations fighting violence against children.

The new age limit, part of a package of laws aimed at curbing sexual violence and sexism, is to be approved by the government in the coming weeks.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2018-03-05

  • FRANCE

    French court says man who had sex with girl, 11, must face rape charges

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Can an 11-year-old consent to sex? A French court case will address that question

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Age of non-consent on trial in France amid controversial rulings

    Read more

COMMENT(S)