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South Korea Raises Minimum Age Of Consent To 16 To Protect Children From Sex Crimes

Korea's legal age of consent is set to be raised to 16 from 13 after parliamentary approval.

On Wednesday, the National Assembly passed revisions to the criminal law to better protect children under 16 from sexual exploitation.

President Moon Jae-in is expected to sign it into law in two weeks.

The age of consent is that at which a person is considered mature and competent enough to consent to sexual activity. An adult who engages in sexual acts with a person under the age could be charged with child sexual abuse or rape.

Korea has long been criticized for keeping the legal benchmark too low. In Russia and Finland, it is 16; in California and Florida, it is 18.

Critics in Korea say that in too many cases it creates an opportunity for sex offenders to exploit young girls because they know that they can later claim it was consensual to avoid liability.

New law to criminalize watching illegally filmed sex videos

The set of bills passed that day includes punishing those who watch illegally filmed videos of sexual acts.

Under the new sex crime act, people who possess, purchase, store or watch such videos can face up to three years in prison or a maximum fine of 30 million won ($24,610).

After the Nth room case came into the spotlight, calls have grown to toughen punishment for child sex abusers.

More than 100 people, including 26 underage girls, are known to have been victimized in the case. Police have arrested and revealed the identities of three key suspects, Cho Ju-bin, Kang Hoon and Lee Won-ho.

Sources: koreatimes.co.kr
Tags: court / legal issues, sexual harassment / sexual assault, social issues
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