The new criminal code comes into force in Spain on the 1st of July, replacing the text from the 1995 version, and implementing a number of key changes.

The laws are aimed at both protecting the more vulnerable, and also allowing criminals who have paid the price for their crimes to be rehabilitated back into society without the long term burden of the offence.

In order to protect the vulnerability of minors, the age of sexual consent has been raised to 16, making sexual relations with a person under 16 a criminal offence, except in the case of consensual relationships with a person close to the age of the child, determined by development and maturity.

There is now an increase in the penalty for prostituting or grooming minors under 16 years of age. Coercion, harassment and stalking are also detailed within the code, irrespective of age.

Posting intimate videos on the internet without the express permission of those involved can result in a prison sentence of between three months and a year. Forced marriage can also now result in up to three years in prison, a move demanded by the European Union to try to crackdown on illegal people trafficking throughout the continent.

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