Government accused of ‘effectively’ lowering age of consent to 13 — Analysis
Family advocates are up in arms against a new guideline issued by the Scottish government which they say promotes – or at least condones – underage sex among children as young as 13, local media reported on Sunday.
According to the policy, if a teenager is in an abusive relationship with another person (e.g., a parent or guardian), he/she will be subject to disciplinary action. “safe and mutually respectful”Relationship, police and teachers, as well as social workers, should be maintained “confidentiality” – i.e. No telling Dad and Mom. However, the age of consent in Scotland is 16, meaning that no matter how safe and respectful a child’s relationship may be, it technically could be outside the law.
Family campaigners, the Catholic church and others concerned with increased meddling into families’ personal lives by the state have excoriated the new protocol, with the Family Education Trust declaring the rule “effectively”Lowers age limit for consent to 13.
It is “effectively a charter for underage sex,” the Trust’s Piers Shepherd told the Mail on Sunday, declaring that the “emphasis on confidentiality shows scant respect for parents who are principal legal guardians” “raises serious health and safety concerns”Referring to the child. He argued that parents are the best. “best placed to shield children from the harmful effects of underage sexual activity.”
The new policy specifies that cases where the child is clearly at risk – where there is a “power imbalance,” grooming, bribing, coercion, or alcohol and drug use – can be reported to parents. But “If sexual activity is taken place/has taken place within safe and mutually respectful relationship, the confidentiality should generally be maintained.”
It’s not clear how police, teachers, and social workers are supposed to gauge the health of an underage relationship. The government spokesperson insisted that they were able to determine the health of the relationship. “non-statutory guidance”In the 276-page National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 20,21 “does not conflict in any way” with the 2009 law that affirmed Scotland’s age of consent at 16. He said that it was clear in the law that Scotland’s age of consent is 16. “society does not encourage sexual intercourse in young people under 16.”
As Shepard of the Family Education Trust pointed out, Scottish children under 16 can’t even get a free bus travel card without a parent to fill out the application. They cannot vote after that age. Children under 16 years old cannot sign up for military service. They must also wait to have their parents consent to allow them to change their gender.
The new child protection policy is just one of several recent steps by Edinburgh that child advocates worry constitutes an unwholesome compulsion to peer into children’s sex lives. Last month, many parents on both ends of the political spectrum denounced the SNP-led government’s health and well-being census, which among other controversial questions asked 14-year-old respondents about their experience with anal sex. Worse still, students were assured that the results would not be disclosed. However, they were asked to submit their unique Scottish candidate number. Parents were told this information would be used for child identification. “in exceptional circumstances.”It was defended by the government, who argued that kids could choose to skip the questionnaires or leave the entire census if they were uncomfortable.
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