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What are ages of consent around the world? From Britain to Japan

Russell Brand faces allegations of sexual assault  (Stefan Rousseau / PA)
Russell Brand faces allegations of sexual assault (Stefan Rousseau / PA)

Calls have been renewed to raise the age of consent in the UK following allegations made against Russell Brand.

The accusations, which Brand strongly denies, are that the comedian raped and committed other sex crimes against four women from 2006 to 2013.

One of the accusations was that the comedian and presenter was 30 years old when he was sexually involved with a 16-year-old girl.

Sixteen is the age of consent in the UK, and many other countries worldwide — including Japan, which raised it from 13 in June.

However, debate has sparked on the back of Brand’s actions, with some claiming this is too young an age to agree to have sex.

“I think we should at least start to think about changing the ideas of consent,” said Alice, the pseudonym of the woman who was 16 years old when she had a relationship with the much older Brand. Alice shared her thoughts with the Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches.

What is the age of consent around the world?

The age of consent around the world varies from 11 to 21, but the most common ages range from 14-16, according to the World Population Review.

In some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Libya, Iran, Pakistan, and Qatar, there is no age of consent but people must be married.

Under 16

The lowest age of consent is in Nigeria (11), followed by the Philippines and Angola (12). The age of consent is 13 in three countries – Niger, Comoros, and Burkina Faso.

The countries where the age of consent is 14 include a number of South American countries: Brazil, Columbia, Peru, Paraguay, Ecuador, and Bolivia.

The European countries where the age of consent is 14 include Germany, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Austria, Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, and Montenegro.

The age of consent is also 14 in Bangladesh, China, Myanmar, Mauritius, Malawi, and Chad.

The age of consent is slightly higher at 15 in France, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Czech Republic, Greece, Denmark, Iceland, and Slovenia, as well as in Thailand, North Korea, Cambodia, Costa Rica, and Uruguay.

Russell Brand (Jonathan Brady / PA)
Russell Brand (Jonathan Brady / PA)

16 and over

Like the UK, the age of consent is 16 in many countries around the world, including the majority of US states (with the rest varying from 17 to 18), Canada, Russia, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

In Europe, the age of consent is also 16 in Spain, Ukraine, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Finland, and Norway.

Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Israel, Jordan, Cuba, and Jamaica also have an age of consent of 16.

Some countries have a higher age of consent, including Mexico, Ireland, and Cyprus (17), and India, Vietnam, Turkey, Uganda, Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, Iraq, Lebanon, and Egypt (18).

The age of consent is 20 in South Korea and Nepal, and is 21 in Bahrain.