Editorial

Kira Dikhtyar launches global “Age of Consent” campaign

Top model reveals that her own traumatic experience was the catalyst for new initiative.

She is known across the fashion and celebrity world as one of the most striking and stylish of models.Kira Dikhtyar has graced the covers of Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, and Cosmopolitan,GQ, and Maxim,among many others; as well as featuring in numerous TV and movie roles.

Now, however,she is taking on what may prove to be her toughest assignment yet – but very likely the most rewarding.

Dikhtyar is leading a new global initiative with a very simple aim: to raise the legal age of consent around the world to prevent the abuse and trafficking of minors.

“Right now, there are many countries around the world where adults can legally have sexual relations with children as young as 11,” Dikhtyar says.

“Even in some developed countries such as Japan the age is ridiculously low at 13. In Italy it is 14 and it is 14 or less in more than 30 countries around the world.”

The model, who is a Geopolitics graduate of Russia’s prestigious Moscow State University, says that having such a low age of consent enables abusers who prey upon young girls. In many cases, it can even lead to trafficking of victims from one country to another.

“The ultimate goal of our campaign is to raise the current age of consent to 18 years old in countries around the world,” Dikhtyar says. “There is a wealth of research that says this is minimum age at which a person is psychologically developed enough to be making such a consequential decision.”

The model revealed recently in a high-profile TV interview that her own traumatic experience of abuse is one of the motivations behind the initiative. Now, the campaign is most advanced in her native Russia, where she says she has been working behind the scenes with leading political figures for several months. The law could be changed as early as the first quarter of 2022, increasing the current age of consent from 14, Dikhtyar says.

However, while Russia may be the starting point and the place where the first tangible result will be seen, the model says that the change in the law there is just the beginning.

“To make a real difference, this is something that has to happen at a global level,” she says.

To that end, the real challenge ahead is working with the United Nations and other international organizations to push change with national governments and legislatures which ultimately hold the power to change their own laws.

Dikhtyar adds that she is already working with dozens of country representatives to the UN as well as with several key UN agencies.

“I some countries it is not going to be easy to amend the law. But I believe we can make an overwhelming argument that things need to change, and that we will, eventually, effect that change.”

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