Catalan government could strip parents of custody if children under 14 commit sexual assault

Decision comes after alleged rapes by young teenagers but experts point out most sexual abuse perpetrated by adult men

Carles Campuzano, the Catalan Minister for Social Rights
Carles Campuzano, the Catalan Minister for Social Rights / Marta Vidal
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

December 14, 2023 08:18 PM

December 14, 2023 08:32 PM

Carles Campuzano, the Catalan Minister for Social Rights, said the government has the "political will" to take custody away from parents in cases of sexual assault involving children under 14 if support programs do not work. 

The minister said there was a sense of "impunity" and that parents "are responsible for what their children do."  


Campuzano defended the need for families to assume responsibility for restoring and repairing the damage inflicted on victims, as well as working so similar attacks do not happen again. 

Between the summer of 2022 and 2023, several cases of sexual assaults against minors perpetrated by underage boys, many of whom were fourteen years old or younger, were exposed.  

In light of the events, the Government commissioned a report to a group of experts which was published today. 

Experts have concluded that sexual assaults perpetrated by children under 14 years old, who cannot be trialed or fined, have not increased. However, complaints of this kind have increased, but experts point out it is due to "media and social alarm." 

Eduard Vallory, the coordinator of the expert group, said that sexual assaults committed by under-14s "create social concern, but are a minority". 

"Children in our society suffer abuse mostly from adults who, in most cases, are close to them. It is easier to create fear about cases that cause social alarm than to realize that minors are at risk from people who do not cause social alarm," he said.