Are you using the Sensoa Flag System? Find out what legal aspects are involved. 

Situations with drawings are not images of abuse

The Flag System uses situations with drawings of sexual acts between children, adolescents and sometimes adults.    

Belgian criminal law does not classify these drawings as images of sexual abuse of minors ('child pornography'). Only visual representations of minors intended for sexual purposes are considered images of sexual abuse of minors and are punishable. Educational or didactic material is not covered, unless one takes it out of that context and puts it on a porn site, for example.    

However, the law can vary from country to country. Therefore, check how it was determined in your country before distributing situation sketches with drawings in any way. 

In doubt? Then only use the description of the situation and not the drawings.

Green flag for sexual acts: strict conditions

In addition, the Flag System generally gives a green flag to sexual acts between children and adolescents that can be considered an expression of the discovery of sexuality in the context of personal development.   

Of course, this is only done on condition that the other criteria are also met (mutual consent, voluntary engagement, equality...) and that the developmental level of the young people involved is taken into account.  

In Belgium, the behaviour of minors is not subject to criminal law but to juvenile law. Minors who commit criminal acts come before the juvenile court. To our knowledge, sexual behaviour among minors in the context of sexual development is not prosecuted in Belgium unless there is a complaint because one of the other criteria was violated: e.g. no consent, no voluntary engagement.   

For sexual contacts with adults, minors under 16 cannot give consent in Belgium. One exception is that a young person as young as 14 can give consent if the age difference with the partner does not exceed three years. Again, the law and its application in practice may vary from country to country. If this is the case, and certain acts do turn out to be punishable in the context of a country, this should be taken into account in the response mode.

Disclaimer and terms of use

  1. The Sensoa Flag System is offered as a tool to assess sexual (transgressive) behaviour. Sensoa hereby expressly disclaims any responsibility for actions, decisions or consequences arising from the practical use or implementation of the Sensoa Flag System.  
  2. According to the Terms of Use, as a user, you expressly agree to indemnify Sensoa also against any third party claims arising from improper use of the elements of the Flag System. Moreover, these elements are not tailored to circumstances specific to an individual or entity. Accordingly, one cannot consider them as personal, professional or legal advice or its equivalent.     
  3. Finally, it is important, that you always follow the applicable professional agreements, protocols and procedures that apply in your context or country when having discussions with (potential) perpetrators and victims of (serious) transgressive behaviour.  This may include informing the authorities if necessary.