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Rights Versus Protection. Marriage, Sexual Consent and Medical Treatment

We need to ensure a balance between protecting adolescents (age 10-19 years) from harm and respecting their agency and right to sexual and reproductive health (SRH).

This factsheet addresses the issue of ‘rights versus protection’ through (1) Laws related to age of marriage; (2) age of consent to sex; and (3) age of consent to services.These laws which are intended to protect young people also need to incorporate adolescents’ agency and context of their lives. Adolescents’ agency needs to be at the centre of efforts to develop and implement legislation that impacts their lives. 

For more information, see the full report that highlights the current status of young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and examines key SRHR priorities in Asia and the Pacific to support informed policy, programming and advocacy.