‘Non-consent’ law in France approved

This legislation will protect children from rape and sexual abuse.

The ‘non-consent’ law has now been approved in France. This law establishes an age of ‘non-consent’ at 15, which means that a child cannot be considered to have consented to a sexual act.

Proposed by Emmanuel Macron’s government, the law passed with cross-party support. “In this way, no adult will be able to claim consent from a minor under this age of non-consent,” the minister of justice, Éric Dupond-Moretti, told the lower house of the French parliament, Assemblée Nationale.

The new law stipulates that “any act of sexual penetration of whatever nature,” including oral sex, committed by an adult on a person under 15 will be considered rape.

It also includes a so-called “Romero and Juliet” clause to avoid criminalising sex between young adults and teenagers. The punishment in the new law will only apply if the age difference between the adult and the under 15 is at least five years.

Around 300 amendments were proposed and discussed, but the law, proposed by Emmanuel Macron’s government, was passed with cross-party support. In France, the penalty for rape is set at 20 years.

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