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Up to which age is one regarded as a child and young person respectively?


Minors are children under the age of 18. In more and more Flemish Decree’s, there is made a distinction between children <12 and children >12. Children who are 12 years old (or older) are often legally “presumed” to consider what is in their own interest, and what the consequences are of their choices. E.g. in the “Decree of concerning the legal position of the minor in the integrated youth care”, children who are 12 years or older have to consent with the help program that is offered to them (they can also decline certain help etc.)

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Are children/teens allowed to stay in public places?


There is no legislation.

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Are children/teens allowed to stay in restaurants or dance halls / ballrooms?


Restaurants: There is no legislation.

Dance Halls / Ballrooms: From 16 and accompanied by adults: No age limit

(Law 15 July 1960 for moral protection of youth).

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Are children/teens allowed to stay in night clubs, bars, casinos, places for gambling etc.?


Children (any age) can stay in bars, as long as it is no dancing place, or not a bar where people are dancing.

For dancings etc., there is an age limit of 16 (Law 15 July 1960 for moral protection of youth).

Minors (< 18) cannot enter casino’s, dog and horse racing places and “establishments where waitresses and entertaining ladies usually consume along with the costumers”.

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Is it allowed to sell spirits to children/teens?


Delivery on and the consumption of strong spirits and similar high-per cent beverages at young people is not permitted.

It is forbidden to serve alcoholic beverage to minors younger then 16 (Decree-Law 14 November 1939 concerning the suppressing of drunkenness). Selling or giving away those beverages is allowed as long as it is no strong spirtit and as long as it is not consumed on the sport.

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Which restrictions are there for children/teens to visit public film screenings?


There’s a commission that judges if a movie is for -16 or +16.

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Are children/teens allowed to smoke in public?


There is no legislation.

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Is it allowed for children/teens to go to internet café?


There is no legislation.

How are they protected against harmful matters on the internet?

See: www.clicksafe.be

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Which restrictions are there about carrying knifes, martial arts equipment, weapons?


Starting from 18 years the possession is permitted.

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Which regulations are there concerning sexual relations with children/teens?


Under the age of 14, children cannot give their legal consent to sexual penetration (Criminal Code art. 375); under the age of 16, however, children cannot give their legal consent to sexual acts (Criminal Code art. 371).

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Which restrictions are there if foreign young people want to work temporarily?


Starting from 16 years it is permitted persons to work.

For non-EU-citizens: working licence is needed.

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To which institutions can children/teens turn to if they need help?


JAC (Jongeren Advies Centrum)


Child Focus

Vertrouwenscentrum Kindermishandeling (Confidential Centre for Child Abuse)

Youth service (in every city)


German Embassy

Rue Jacques de Lalaingstraat 8 - 14
1040 Brüssel
phone.: 02 787 18 00
fax: 02 787 28 00

Emergency case phone: 0475 57 77 62

see: http://www.bruessel.diplo.de/Vertretung/bruessel/de/02/Botschaft.html (website in german)

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Useful internet sites about youth protection


More information


embassy Of Belgium (06/2009)

For the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of the information we can not guarantee.