The recommendation came as the Government reviews the Sexual Offences Act, the Child Care, and Protection Act as well as related pieces of legislation. The age of consent should be raised to 18 says the Children’s Advocate.
Diahann Gordon Harrison said the change would provide protection against offences such as sexual grooming as she spoke at Tuesday morning’s sitting of Parliament’s Joint Select Committee looking at the Sexual Offences Act.
Mrs. Gordon Harrison outlined that; “Because it says all children do not have the ability to consent to sex, it would offer that protection to the 16-year-old girl who is being abused or who is in a relationship with a 62-year-old man.”
Mrs. Gordon Harrison, the Children’s Advocate then once again recommended that the age of consent be raised to 18.
Nevertheless, Mrs. Gordon Harrison said there would be some exceptions so as not to criminalise children. “We would insert these close-in-age-group exceptions that say if you are a child and you fall within this particular category…then you would be immune from prosecution.”
Mrs. Gordon Harrison also stated that this would apply, for example, to a 17-year-old boy with a 15-year-old girlfriend, or to two consenting 16-year-olds.