In a bid to protect minors from sexual offences, South Korea has raised the age of consent for sex from 13 to 16. According to reports, South Korea earlier had a law that allowed adults to have sex with anyone above 13, which has now been raised to 16, keeping in mind the growing sexual abuse and rape cases against minors. The new law will open the door for prosecution for adults who have sex with under-16-year-olds.
The latest development came after South Korea's ruling Democratic Party on April 23 agreed to raise the age of consent from 13 to 16. The Ministry of Justice had earlier said a 13-year-old is not mature enough to consent to sexual acts and proposed the raising of age at which a person is legally considered old enough to consent. The Ministry of Justice in a statement said that the age of consent was raised from 13 to 16 in a bid to 'protect children against sex crimes at a fundamental level'.
South Korea has long faced criticism over its minimum age required for giving consent for sexual acts. Despite being one of the most advanced economies and technologically vibrant nations in the world, South Korea is considered a highly patriarchal society where victims of sexual abuses have been shamed in the past for coming forward. The amendment came after a long-standing demand from rights activists, who felt that the benchmark in South Korea was too low compared to some of the other major countries in the world. In most countries, the minimum age required to give consent for sex is 16 or above.
In 2017, call for raising the minimum age of consent grew after a 47-year-old man was found not guilty of raping a 15-year-old girl on the grounds that she had consented. But now it has been changed for good, and under the newly revised law, any adult who will have sex with under 16-year-old will be punished regardless of having consent or not.
(Image Credit: AP)