Philippine leader approves bill raising sex consent age from 12 to 16

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into legislation a invoice that raises the minimal age of sexual consent from 12 to 16, his workplace stated on Monday, in a bid to guard minors from rape and sexual abuse.

The Philippines till now has had one of many world’s lowest minimal ages of sexual consent, behind Nigeria’s age of 11, based on the United Nations Kids’s Fund (UNICEF).

A joint 2015 research by UNICEF and the Middle for Girls’s Assets, an area non-governmental group, confirmed seven of 10 rape victims within the Philippines had been kids.

One in 5 respondents age 13 to 17 reported experiencing sexual violence, whereas one in 25 skilled pressured consummated intercourse throughout childhood, the research stated.

Beneath the invoice endorsed by Duterte, which is gender impartial, any grownup participating in sexual contact with anybody 16 or underneath could be committing statutory rape, until the age distinction between them was three years or much less and intercourse was confirmed to be consensual, and neither abusive nor exploitative.

The exemption doesn’t apply if the a kind of concerned was underneath 13.

“We welcome this authorized improvement and hope that it’ll assist defend younger women from rape and sexual abuse,” stated Josalee Deinla, spokesperson of the Nationwide Union of Peoples’ Legal professionals, which supplies authorized assist to poor and marginalised individuals within the Philippines.

Lawrence Fortun, one of many invoice’s primary sponsors, described it as “a serious step ahead”.

“I’m elated that our collective efforts at pushing for stronger safety in opposition to rape and different types of sexual abuse are advancing,” he stated in an announcement.

(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Enhancing by Martin Petty)

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