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Philippine leader agrees to raise age of consent from 12 to 16

MANILA — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has signed legislation raising the minimum age for sexual consent from 12 to 16, his office said Monday to protect minors from rape and sexual abuse.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Philippines has had one of the world’s lowest minimum ages for sexual consent, behind Nigeria’s age of 11.

A 2015 joint study by UNICEF and the Center for Women’s Resources, a local NGO, showed that seven out of 10 rape victims in the Philippines were children.

One in five respondents aged 13 to 17 said they had experienced sexual violence, while one in 25 experienced forced sex during childhood, the study found.

Under the Duterte-approved bill, which is gender-neutral, any adult who has sexual contact with someone under the age of 16 would commit statutory rape unless the age difference between them is three years or less and the sex was proven consensual , and neither abusive nor exploitative.

The new bill signed by Duterte is gender neutral.
The new bill signed by Duterte is gender neutral.
Aaron Favila

The exemption does not apply if one of the participants was under 13 years old.

“We welcome this legal development and hope it will help protect young girls from rape and sexual abuse,” said Josalee Deinla, spokesperson for the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, which provides legal aid to poor and marginalized people in the Philippines.

Lawrence Fortun, one of the bill’s major sponsors, described it as “a major step forward.”

A 2015 study showed that seven out of 10 rape victims in the Philippines were children.
A 2015 study showed that 7 out of 10 rape victims in the Philippines were children.
Basil Sepe

“I am pleased that our collective efforts to urge stronger protections against rape and other forms of sexual abuse are making progress,” he said in a statement.

The postal lines

https://nypost.com/2022/03/07/philippine-leader-approves-raising-consent-age-from-12-to-16/ Philippine leader agrees to raise age of consent from 12 to 16

JACLYN DIAZ

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