A few minutes ago, the Maltese Parliament voted in favour of the third reading of the Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence Bill, which includes an amendment to the legal age of sexual consent. KNZ has been on the forefront of the civil society movement in favour of this move, bringing Malta in line with the majority of EU Member States. In 2015, KNZ had issued a policy paper with a number of recommendations on this subject matter and we are satisfied that this amendment is finally taking place. KNZ encourages the Government to carry out a holistic sexual health educational campaign to empower youths with the necessary knowledge in this extremely important field and ensure the effective access to health services in this regard. This should also include an expert taskforce of educators in secondary schools, incorporating formal and non-formal education and committing to the investment in higher quality sexual health clinics, facilitating free-self testing and the improvement in the accessibility and the education use of contraceptives amongst youths. Additionally, the relevant authorities should also make sure that Gozo is equipped with a sexual health clinic, especially due to the absence of a Gozitan health clinic.

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