The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings which came into force in also deals with commercial sexual exploitation of children. Several Western countries have raised their ages of consent recently. These include Canada in —from 14 to 16 ; and in Europe, Iceland in —from 14 to 15 , Lithuania in —from 14 to 16 , Croatia in —from 14 to 15 , and Spain in —from 13 to Jurisdictions use a variety of terms for the offense, including child sexual abuse , statutory rape , illegal carnal knowledge , corruption of a minor,  besides others.
The enforcement practices of age-of-consent laws vary depending on the social sensibilities of the particular culture see above. Often, enforcement is not exercised to the letter of the law, with legal action being taken only when a sufficiently socially-unacceptable age gap exists between the two individuals, or if the perpetrator is in a position of power over the minor e.
The sex of each participant can also influence perceptions of an individual's guilt and therefore enforcement. Most jurisdictions have set a fixed age of consent. Ages can also vary based on the type of calendar used, such as the Lunar calendar ,  how birth dates in leap years are handled, or even the method by which birth date is calculated. Reasonable belief that the victim is over the age of consent In some jurisdictions it is a defense if the accused can show that he or she reasonably believed the victim was over the age of consent.
However, where such a defense is provided, it normally applies only when the victim is close to the age of consent or the accused can show due diligence in determining the age of the victim e. Close-in-age exemptions Some jurisdictions have laws explicitly allowing sexual acts with minors under the age of consent if their partner is close in age to them.
For instance, in Canada , the age of consent is 16, but there are two close-in-age exemptions: For example, the age of consent in the US state of Delaware is 18, but it is allowed for teenagers aged 16 and 17 to engage in sexual intercourse as long as the older partner is younger than In both the United Kingdom and Western Australia, for example, the age of consent was originally 21 for same-sex sexual activity between males with no laws regarding lesbian sexual activities , while it was 16 for heterosexual sexual activity; this is no longer the case.
In Canada , the age of consent for anal sex is officially higher at 18 years, compared with 16 years for vaginal and oral sex. In countries where there are gender-age differentials, the age of consent may be higher for girls—for example in Papua New Guinea , where the age of consent for heterosexual sex is 16 for girls and 14 for boys,  or they may be higher for males, such as in Indonesia, where males must be 19 years old and females must be 16 years old.
In these jurisdictions, it is illegal to have sexual intercourse outside of marriage, so the de facto age of consent is the marriageable age. In Kuwait, this means that boys must be at least 17 and girls at least 15 years old.
Examples of such positions of trust include relationships between teachers and students. Circumstances of the relationship In several jurisdictions, it is illegal to engage in sexual activity with a person under a certain age under certain circumstances regarding the relationship in question, such as if it involves taking advantage of or corrupting the morals of the young person.
For example, while the age of consent is 14 in Germany and 16 in Canada, it is illegal in both countries to engage in sexual activity with a person under 18 if the activity exploits the younger person. This applies in cases where any of the partners travels into or out of the United States, or from one state into another, for the purpose of an illegal sexual encounter. Traditionally, age of consent laws regarding vaginal intercourse were often meant to protect the chastity of unmarried girls.
This has led to gender-neutral laws in many jurisdictions. In the US, in Michael M. This means that in some legal systems, issues of women having sexual contact with underage partners were rarely acknowledged. For example, until , in the UK, before the Sexual Offences Amendment Act , there was no statutory age of consent for lesbian sex.
Marriageable age and Child marriage The age at which a person can be legally married can differ from the age of consent. In jurisdictions where the marriageable age is lower than the age of consent, those laws usually override the age of consent laws in the case of a married couple where one or both partners are below the age of consent. Some jurisdictions prohibit all sex outside of marriage irrespective of age, as in the case of Yemen.