16 years, the minimum age to marry
Although the weddings among teenagers they are not numerous, the minimum age for marriage has risen by two years. From now on it is necessary have turned 16 to get married thanks to the entry into force of the Law of Voluntary Jurisdiction.
Thus, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics INE, since 1975 a total of 26,685 teenagers, boys and girls about 15 years old. Specifically, the majority were girls, since, for example, in 1980 73 children and 2,517 girls were married.
The tendency of marriages has become execeptional, since according to INE data, since the year 2000 only 360 marriages of adolescents between 14 and 15 years have been registered. If you include boys and girls of 16 and 17 years old, the figures increase, since only 74 minors were married last year. In 2014 only 5 children under 16 years of age were married in Spain.
A measure to prevent forced marriages
With the entry into force of this new law, only teenagers can get married in Spain who have already turned 16 and are emancipated, something that is declared by concession of those who hold parental authority or by judicial concession, but always from 16 years of age, as imposed by the new rule.
In relation to this new legal measure, Carlos Martínez-Almedia, president of the Childhood Platform, Carlos Martínez-Almeida, affirms that the "measure will constitute an additional impediment to avoid specific practices but of enormous seriousness as the cases of forced marriage".
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Council of Europe had repeatedly asked Spain to raise the minimum age to get married, which was the lowest in the European Union
The minimum age for consensual sexual relations is raised
This measure is accompanied by a reform of the Criminal Code that raises the minimum agefrom 13 to 16 years for a sexual relationship to be consented. This extension is intended to be stricter regarding abuses of minors and minors, and thus facilitate the fight against pedophilia and against forced marriages.
This reform of the Criminal Code is now consistent with the application of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Spain. This means an adult can be condemned for sexual abuse if you have sex with a boy or girl who is under 16 years of age, even in the case that these relationships are consented. Thepenalty ranges from two to six years in jail.
The age limits in Europe
The minimum age to marry in the countries of the European Union is 16 years. Spain had the lowest limit of the EU. In comparison with other countries in Estonia, Denmark, Slovenia and Lithuania can contract matirmonium after 15 years, while in others like France and Romania can not be done until they are 18 years old.
However, what was most worrying for child protection associations, among other institutions, was that the legal age for consensual sexual relations was 13 years. Already in 2007, the UN He asked Spain to raise this age to 15 years, it has not been until now, 15 years later, when he has responded by placing this age at 16 years. Interestingly, in Germany and Italy, this age is in 14 years, 15 in Denmark, 16 in the United Kingdom and Norway, 17 in Ireland and 18 in Malta.
Marisol Nuevo Espín