Guyana - Age of Consent

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GUYANA LAWS: 1. Has a sodomy law, punishable with up to life in prison.



Guyana - Guyane - Guyana

I. Ages for legal purposes

Age of simple majority
The legal age of majority is eighteen (18 years) years, according to the Constitution of Guyana
Representation Of the People Act, Chapter 109 Section 2/3.

Age of consent for sexual activity
The legal age of consent for sexual activity is thirteen (13) years, according to the Criminal Law
Offences Act, Chapter 8.01, Section 61.

Age of consent for marriage
The legal age of consent for marriage, with parental permission, is fourteen (14) years for female
persons and sixteen (16) years for male persons.

The age on which a person is culpable by law is ten (10) years. The age of a male person on which
he can be charged with a sexual offence is fourteen (14) years and over, according to the common

II. Rape
Section 76, Chapter 8.01 of the Laws of Guyana, Criminal Law Offences Act, defines rape as following
"Unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent, by force, fear or fraud. "
‘Carnal knowledge of female persons under the age of twelve (12) years’

Section 70 C.L.O. Act defines it as following
" Unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent, by force, fear or fraud "
The issue of consent does not arise, since this is considered to be statutory rape. Whether or not the victim consents, the charge could be made if proven.

‘Carnal knowledge of a female between twelve (12) and thirteen (13) years old’
Section 69 C.L.O. Act gives the same definition as for rape, stated above. In casu, consent of the victim is an issue and the accused can lead a defence that he was of the view that the victim was older than thirteen (13) years of age.

III. Other forms of child sex abuse
‘Incest by a male/female’
Section 65-68 C.L.O. Act defines incest as following :
Incest by a male person : " Sexual intercourse by a man with a woman whom he knows to be his grand-daughter, daughter, sister and mother, even if there is consent. "

Incest by a female person : " Sexual intercourse by a woman who is sixteen (16) years old or above, with a man whom she knows to be her grand-father, brother, father or son, even if there is consent. "

‘Serious assault against women , men and children’
Serious assault can relate to wounding with intent, causing actual bodily harm, causing grievous bodily harm.

Indecent assault only applies to female persons of any age, according to section 24/8.02 or section 45/8.00. It is an assault accompanied by circumstances of indecency by the defendant to the victim. A person charged with rape or carnal knowledge can be found guilty of the lessor count of carnal knowledge if penetration is not proven.

‘Abduction of unmarried girls’
Section 83-86 C.L.O. Act states :
" Taking a girl out of the possession of her parent or other persons, having lawful care or charge of her, against the will of such persons or that she left her parents or guardian in consequence of some persuasion, inducement or blandishment held out
to her by her prisoner. "     In casu, consent is not an issue.

IV. Child prostitution
Section 87 C.L.O. Act states
" Everyone who, being the owner or occupier or manager of any premises, induces or knowledgeably suffers any girl under twelve (12) years old but younger than thirteen (13) years, to resort to or to be upon those premises for the purpose of unlawful sexual intercourse with anyone, shall be guilty of an offence. "

However, it is a defence for the accused to say that he had reasonable cause to believe that the girl was of or above the age of thirteen (13) years.

V. Child pornography
There is no particular offence of child pornography in the Laws of Guyana. Nevertheless, Section 350 of the C.L.O. Act regulates selling, publishing or exhibiting an obscene matter. The obscenity is when the matter is such as to deprive and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences and into whose hands publication of this sort may fall.


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