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

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.)

At the federal level a person ist criminally mature at the age of 14.



With the accomplishment of 18 years of age the persons attain their majority and shall be completely able, through their activities, to acquire rights and assume obligations. The persons who have not accomplished 14 years of age, is a minor. Instead of them and on their behalf legal actions shall be carried out by their legal representatives - parents or guardians. The persons from 14 years of age until the accomplishment of 18 years of age are juvenile. They shall carry out legal activities with the consent of their parents or guardians but they can conclude on their own common small transactions for meeting their current needs and to dispose of the acquired by their own work.



According to the legislation children and young persons below 18 years, are regarded as children and young persons. Young persons are persons between 14 and 18 years.
There are no other official definition of young persons.



Children are persons below the age of 14 years.

Adolescents are persons as of 14 but below the age of 18 years.



Republic of Estonia Child Protection Act § 2 Age of child:

For the purposes of this Act, a child is a human being below the age of eighteen years.

Youth Work Act § 2 para 1:

A young person is a natural person between 7 and 26 years of age.



According to Finnish child protection act (Lastensuojelulaki 13.4.2007/417), a "child" is a person under the age of eighteen; a "young person" is under twenty-one. According to the Finnish Youth Act (72/2006), "young people" means those under 29 years of age.



French legislation provide different regulations according to the age and power of judgement of the minor, particularly in criminal matters. Minors are children under the age of 18 years (section 388 of the Civil Code). Young persons are persons between 21 and 25 years.


United Kingdom

Up to 18.



You are a child until the age of 12 years.

You are a young person until the age of 18 years.

As a minor is considered a person between 8 and 18 years of age.

Penal Code as it was replaced by the article 1 of the 3189/2003 Act, art. 121 para 1



You are a child until the age of 18 years. However, there are certain rules that children under 18 years of age achieve privileges which normally subjected to adults (e.g. the right to marry).



There are no rules which define the specific ages for children, adolescents and teenagers. In general, these age ranges tend to be associated with the school career, as well as the process of maturation until the age of majority is reached, which is defined by law as the age of 18 years. In line with the school career, the following stages have been identified: childhood (Bambini/bambine), which typically goes from birth to the age of 10 (early or "first" childhood from 0-6; "second" childhood from 6 to 10), pre-adolescence (ragazzi/ragazze), which goes from the age of 11 to the age of 13, and adolescence (in Italian, the same term, ragazzi/ragazze), which goes from the age of 14 through the age of 17. However, this scheme conforms only partially to a definition of overall psychological development.

The Italian Civil Code does not contain a definition of minors, but the terms legal capacity and capacity to act are defined in § 1 and § 2 of the Civil Code. The first term, legal capacity, is acquired at the moment of birth, while the second, capacity to act, is acquired once the age of majority (18 years of age) is reached, along with the ability to take all actions for which no other age limit is prescribed.

Although an express definition of minors does not exist, by ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989 through Act No. 176/1999, Italy automatically accepted the definition of child (fanciullo) as a synonym for minor, as contained in Article 1 of the Convention.

It should also be pointed out that Article 1 of Act No. 977/67, "Occupational Safety for Children and Adolescents," as amended by Ordinance No. 345/99, makes a distinction between child (bambino) and adolescent (adolescente), clarifying that, for the purposes of the Act, a child is to be understood as a minor who is less than 15 years of age or who is still subject to compulsory education, while an adolescent is understood as a minor between 15 and 18 years of age who is no longer subject to compulsory education.



The terms »child« and »young persons« are currently defined differently by various regulations. Pursuant to the Family Act the age of majority is 18. Pursuant to the Ombudsman for Children Act, a child is any person below the age of eighteen years. Other regulations, for instance, the Criminal Code, defines a child, as referred to in this Code, as a person who has not reached the age of eighteen years. Pursuant to the Juvenile Courts Act a minor shall be a person whose age, at the time when the offence was committed, was between fourteen and eighteen, and a young adult shall be a person whose age, at the time when the offence was committed, was between eighteen and twenty one.



Up to 18 years of age – child, young person from 13 years of age till 25 years of age.



The definition of the child in the Lithuanian law corresponds to the one established in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child; i.e. a child is considered to be each person under 18 years of age. If the person’s age is unknown and there is reason to believe that he/she is a minor, such person shall be considered a child until the contrary is established.

A young person is defined as a person between the ages of 14 and 29 (including), according to the Law on Youth Policy Framework of the Republic of Lithuania. 



In accordance with Article 388 of the Civil Code (the Code Civil), persons under the age of 18 years are considered to be minors. Parental custody (autorité parentale) ends at that age. Various legal texts define the rights and duties of minors. For example, the Education Act provides for nine years of compulsory education, beginning with entry into primary school (Act of 12 August 1912). This means that, for most children in Luxemburg, compulsory education ends at the age of 15 years. The Act for the Protection of Young Workers of 23 March 2001 distinguishes between children under the age of 15 and teenagers under the age of 18. The Youth Safety Act of 10 August 1992 applies for minors under the age of 18. Pursuant to Article 32 of that Act, juvenile delinquents aged 16 and up may be tried before a criminal court under certain circumstances.



Under Maltese law, any person under the age of 18 is considered to be a minor. Generally speaking, minors remain in the custody of their parents until they reach that age.

It is the duty of the parents to exercise parental authority over their children or to appoint a legal guardian in their absence in order to ensure that the children in their custody are safe from danger. The law does not clearly distinguish between children and adolescents.



In the Netherlands, persons under the age of 18 years are considered minors by law (Burgerlijk Wetboek/Civil Code). From 18 years people are considered adults.

In Dutch youth policy, youth is generally defined as the age group 0-25 years. Within this age group a distinction is made (in policy, not in laws) between Children (0-12 years), Young people (12-18 years) and Young Adults (18-25 years).

In the Netherlands, the term youth is applied to children  and  young  people  from  0  up  to  the  age  of  23  or  27,  depending  on  the  domain;  e.g. preventive local youth policies up to 23 years and youth employment policies until 27 years. (Quelle: http://www.youthpolicy.nl/en/Download-NJi/Country-sheet-the-Netherlands-2016.pdf)



The protection of minors is not regulated uniformly in Austria, but is a matter for the federal states. However, a minor is defined as someone who has not reached the age of 18 (§ 12 Austrian civil code).

In Styria, Carinthia, Tyrol and Vorarlberg, there is a further differentiation as a child before the age of 14. In Salzburg, “children” are considered to be before the age of 12. In Burgenland, Lower Austria and Vienna, only the term “young person” is used for persons under 18.



Under Polish law, persons between the ages of 13 and 18 are considered to be minors. Minors have limited legal capacity and are subject to the supervision of their parents. (…) Roznica maloletni nieletni.

The Act of 26 October 1982, Rules of Procedure for Minors, considers persons older than 13 and younger than 17 who commit a crime to be minors. The rights of children are guaranteed in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, as well as the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (ratified by Poland in 1991).

Poland has an ombudsman/advocate for children's rights.



You are a child until the age of 18 years. You also become a major with 18 years.

For sepecial purposes, the law increases the age of becoming an adult, i.e. social benefits for students (up to 26 years), youth cards (up to 25 years), legal status for criminal youth (between 16 and 21 years) and assistance or protective measures (up to 21 years).



There is still no information



A person is regarded as a child until the age of 18. There are some specific regulations on youth persons in certain laws. The age limit of who is a young person varies in different laws.



In accordance with UN Convention on the rights of the children in Slovak republic a child means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.



According to the Marriage and Family Relations Act (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 69/04 – official consolidated text), one is regarded as a child up to eighteen years of age. It is at this age when a person is granted full legal capacity, which enables him or her to enter into legal transactions. While a minor, a child is represented by his or her parents.



Under Spanish law a person under 18 is considered as a child and always has all the protection derived from its status as a minor. A young person in Spain is between 15 and 24 years, persons aged 15 to 17 are children and young people, and 18 to 24 are young but already adults. The condition of young person is more a social category that a legal status, unlike the minor’s condition.


Czech Republic

You are a child until the age of 18 years.

A person is considered as a young person till 26 years (not by law).

According to the Civil Code (Nr. 40/1964 GBl.), minors are persons who have unless reached 18 years. From then on, a person becomes contractually capable (Exception: The legal capacity depends on the individual health situation. Thereupon, a 18 years old person will not become contractually capable.).

According to the Penal Code (Nr. 140/1961 Gbl.), children under 15 years of age are Doli incapax for their actions. Therefore young people are person over 15 years of age which haven´t reached their 18th birthday.

According to the Criminal Code from 2004 minors become relief which means a specific law exists, which regulate the requirements for criminal liability of minors and the penaltes therefore.



According to Hungarian legislation, persons are children under 18 years of age. They are also minors. So you are with 18 of full age. Then you will get all rights and duties.

There are different definitions about young people, e.g. till 24, 26 or 29 years.



Up to the age of 18 years one is considered as child.