Age of Consent, Sexual Intercourse with Young Persons and Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Care in Zimbabwe

Issues of age of consent, having sexual intercourse with young persons and access to sexual and reproductive health services cannot be separated. They are intertwined. For that reason, this publication seeks to give an overview encompassing all these issues so that the discussion is situated within its proper and complete context.

Age of consent has remained a standing topical issue in Zimbabwe. It is the consequences and effects of the age of consent that have continuously triggered the ongoing discussion, ranging from the incessant child marriages, to the disturbingly high levels of child sexual abuse. Access to health services, particularly sexual and reproductive health services, is yet another. Are there gaps in our law and policy? Are there perhaps gaps in the implementation of the existing legal framework? Do our law and practice conform to the international law standards to which our country subscribes? What does our law say concerning age of consent and protection of children from sexual abuse? What are the implications of such laws? The questions are numerous. It is to these issues that this discussion is devoted.

Source: Justice for Children Trust (JCT)

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