The Lanzarote Convention, which came into effect in 2011, obligates the countries that ratify it to criminalize certain acts concerning children under 18, such as the involvement of such children in prostitution and pornography.
Other acts that must be criminalized include: "Engaging in sexual activities with a child (child is defined in Article 3 as "person under the age of 18 years") where: The age of consent is called "the legal age for sexual activities" and must be chosen by states at the age they see fit.
The age limits are designed to protect young people from being taken advantage of by older people.
If you are a young person thinking about having sex, you need to understand your rights and the law.The age of consent in Belarus is 16, as specified by Articles 168 and 169, which read: "Sexual relations, sodomy, lesbian acts or other actions of sexual character of an adult, reached eighteen years of age, with a person who obviously has not reached sixteen years of age, at absence of attributes of the crimes stipulated by articles 166 and 167 present codes, are punished by restriction of freedom of two years to four years or by imprisonment of two years to five years." and "Dissolute actions accomplished by a person, reached eighteen years of age, concerning a person who obviously has not reached sixteen years of age, at absence of attributes of the crimes stipulated by articles 166, 167 and 168 present codes, are punished by arrest of about six months or imprisonment of one year to three years." The age of consent in Belgium is 16, as specified by Article 372 of the Criminal Code (Code pénal/Strafwetboek), which reads: "Any indecent assault committed without violence or threat on the person or with the assistance of the person of a child of either sex, aged less than sixteen, shall be punished by imprisonment (of five years to ten years).Sexual activity with children younger than 14 is illegal under Article 207, which prohibits sexual acts with a "child", and a "child" is defined in Article 2(8) as a person under 14.(2) Whoever commits lewd act with a child under fifteen years of age or induces a child to commit lewd act on itself or with a third person, shall be punished by imprisonment for a term between six months and five years.However, there is a close-in-age exemption of three years.(No specific age is recommended.) As of December 2016, the convention has been ratified by 42 states, while another 5 states have signed but not yet ratified the convention.In the European Union (EU 28), there is a directive regarding the sexual abuse of children under 18, known as "Directive 2011/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography".The ages of consent are currently set between 14 and 18.The vast majority of countries set their ages in the range of 14 to 16; only five countries, Cyprus (17), Ireland (17), Malta (18), Turkey (18) and Vatican City (18), do not fit into this pattern.This includes how to prevent an unplanned pregnancy and what you can do if you do get pregnant.Find out more about how the law applies to contraception and pregnancy.