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Give vote to 16-year-olds

Minister for the family want adolescence to be “an apprenticeship of citizenship”

THE right to vote should be extended to 16-year-olds, according to the Minister for the family Dominique Bertinotti.

The minister said she was looking at introducing a status of “prémajorité” for adolescents that would group together rights and responsibilities.

“At 15 you’ve reached the age of consent, at 16 you can work,” she said, adding that at this age it was still not possible to form legal associations.

“Minors today are the objects of rights, they should become the subjects,” she said, adding that she wished to “make adolescence a sort of apprenticeship for citizenship”.

The right to vote would not be an essential part of the new status of “prémajorité” said Ms Bertinotti, as more debate would be needed. “But I don’t see why young people would not have the same capacity for reflection,” she said.

The child psychologist Christian Flavigny told Le Figaro that the government’s approach to young people was “completely incoherent”.

“There are young people who are very mature at 16, but also those who can be extremely vulnerable,” he said.

“That this government, which strongly opposed dropping the age of criminal responsibility, now wants to give them more rights seems to me completely incoherent.

“We are under the illusion that respecting children means letting them decide. All these ideas around that push towards leaving children to decide, right up to their sex – it’s a renunciation of our role as adults.”

Photo: Danielle Bonardelle -

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