Belgium has a law to protect young people from engaging in sexual intercourse when they are too young to make a proper decision. This is the law on the age of consent.
Age of consent means the age when the law considers a person to be able to make his/her own decisions. In Belgium, the age of consent for engaging in sexual intercourse is 16. Before that age, strictly speaking, it is forbidden to have sexual intercourse.
Sexual acts (sex) between an adult (a person older than 18) and a person younger than 16 is considered as indecent assault and is forbidden by law. In practice, cases will be prosecuted only if there is a considerable age difference between the partners and/or one of the partners did not agree to have sex. For example: if somebody files a complaint about a boy of 15 and a girl of 14, in which both gave their full consent to have sexual intercourse, there will be no prosecution.
Belgium wants to change this law soon. A person will be able to give consent to sexual intercourse from the age of 14. However, there are 2 conditions:
- The partner should not be more than 5 years older.
- The partner should not have any power over the younger person and should not be in a position of trust.