This research is exploratory. Its main aim is to open new avenues for dialogue and policy discussion, as well as for research in the future. It is not aiming to influence government positions, but to contribute to an ongoing debate.

The methodology used in the consultation did not ensure representativeness and does not allow generalisations that would apply to the entire adolescent population. This consultation does not claim to apply to all adolescents nor does it use statistical inference to determine properties of an adolescent population, nor to test any hypotheses. Rather, the aim of the consultation was to gain further insights into issues facing adolescents in the region in relation to minimum age legislation.

While many themes in relation to minimum ages could be explored, the scope of the consultation was limited by considerations of resources and time. For this reason, themes such as safety, security & ICT, or sexual consent – while timely and important – could not be addressed at length.

As discovered in the legislative mapping, many laws have several exceptions and considerations (especially minimum age of criminal responsibility, and consent to medical treatment), and therefore the most widely applicable ages were used in the consultation. For more on the legal minimum ages used in the consultation, please see our methodology.

The consultation adhered to the highest ethical standards relating to conducting research with adolescents. All efforts were made to reduce the potential harm that could arise from the consultation, all protocols were followed, and no child was harmed as a consequence of their participation in this project. For more information, please see our methodology.

Please note that laws and policies change constantly, and neither UNICEF nor Youth Policy Labs take responsibility for the accuracy of the laws presented here. For up-to-date information on age-related policies and laws, please contact the human rights bodies in your country.

For more information, please contact agematters@youthpolicy.org