Canada Age of Consent & Sex Laws Age of Consent in Canada

What is the Canada Age of Consent?

The Age of Consent in Canada is 16 years old. The age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Individuals aged 15 or younger in Canada are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape or the equivalent local law.

Canada statutory rape law is violated when an individual has consensual sexual intercourse with a person under age 16. There are two close in age exemptions. One allows a minor aged 12 or 13 to consent to sexual congress with an individual less then two years older. The other allows 14 and 16 year olds to consent to partners less than 5 years older. The age of consent is raised to 18 when the older party is in a position of trust or authority over the other, the younger party is in a relationship of dependency with the owner, or if the relationship is exploitative. Every act of anal intercourse is criminalized with the exemptions for married couples or 2 people over age 18. The exemptions become invalid if a third person is present of if the act does not take place in private.

Canada has a close-in-age exemption. A close in age exemptions, commonly known as "Romeo and Juliet law" in the United States, is a law designed to prevent the prosecution of underage couples who engage in consensual sex when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both are below the age of consent.

Depending on the situation, the Canada close-in-age exemption may completely exempt qualifying close-in-age couples from the age of consent law, or merely provide a legal defence that can be used in the event of prosecution.

Age of Consent across the world

The Age of Consent ranges from as low as 11 to as high as 20 years old across the world. Click any country for details, or view countries with the highest & lowest ages of consent.

Age of Consent Map:

Must be married
< 13 years old
14 years old
15 years old
16 years old
17 years old
18 years old
> 19 years old

Back to list of international ages of consent View state ages of consent in the USA

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