Minimum age for marriage in Spain is being increased, from the current 14 years to 16 years. Also minimum age for sex is being increased
Under current rules, a judge can do an individual assessment to allow marriage for youth from 14 years of age. This possibility disappears from July 23rd 2015. Also the minimum age when intercourse is allowed is being changed. The minimum age is increased from 13 years to 16 years. Penalties for violations of sexual consent provides up to six years in prison, but dependent on the matter it can can be raised to 12 years imprisonment. There is one exception, that is if the perpetrator is also a minor, then it is not considered a criminal offense.
Carlos Martinez-Almeida, president of the “Plataforma de Organizacion de Infancia” tells the news agency Europa Press that: “This extends the protection of children in Spain, preventing abuse of minors adults, facilitates the fight against pedophilia and forced marriage. Furthermore, the new law is more coherent with the Child Welfare Convention”.
It is above all Gypsies who have had a tradition of child marriage, but they also welcoming the new law. Sara Gimenez, director of the organization for equal rights for Gypsies says that “There is an age limit for us in line with other European countries”.
Nowadys there are not so many under 16 who have married in recent years. In 1979 there were 2,837 couples who married before the age of 16. But over the last 14 years there have only been a total of 365 marriages among youth under 16 years.