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Age of sexual consent

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association does not support the current Bill in the House of Commons that seeks to raise the age of consent to sex to age 16 years.

Responsible sexual decision-making is a developmental process that requires social guidance, not legislative control. Young people are already protected from sexual exploitation, internet luring, and prostitution by ss. 150 through 172.1, and ss. 212(2) and 212(4) of the Code (Sexual Offenses and Disorderly Conduct). Raising the age of consent will create barriers to sexual health information, especially among marginalized youth who need it the most. Barriers to sexual health information will result in more cases of SDIs, HIV/AIDS and pregnancies among youth. Raising the age of consent may criminalize healthy sexual relationships between young people, and places undue restrictions on their autonomy. The best way to protect children and youth is through education and empowerment.