Children and Youth Protection in Belgium
- Up to which age is one regarded as a child and young person respectively?
- Are children/teens allowed to stay in public places?
- Are children/teens allowed to stay in restaurants or dance halls / ballrooms?
- Are children/teens allowed to stay in night clubs, bars, casinos, places for gambling etc.?
- Is it allowed to sell spirits to children/teens?
- Which restrictions are there for children/teens to visit public film screenings?
- Are children/teens allowed to smoke in public?
- Is it allowed for children/teens to go to internet café?
- Which restrictions are there about carrying knifes, martial arts equipment, weapons?
- Which regulations are there concerning sexual relations with children/teens?
- Which restrictions are there if foreign young people want to work temporarily?
- To which institutions can children/teens turn to if they need help?
- Useful internet sites about youth protection
- More information
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.)
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).
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”.
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.
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).
For non-EU-citizens: working licence is needed.
JAC (Jongeren Advies Centrum)
Vertrouwenscentrum Kindermishandeling (Confidential Centre for Child Abuse)
Youth service (in every city)
Jacques de Lalaingstraat 8 - 14
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)
embassy Of Belgium (06/2009)
For the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of the information we can not guarantee.