Persons convicted of paedophilia in Madagascar will now face surgical castration for their crimes after the country’s Parliament, on February 2, passed legislation mandating the same.
The development comes just days after Kazakhstan introduced a similar law in response to local lawmakers who decried that chemical castration, a punishment imposed on child rapists, failed to deter individuals from committing such crimes.
Initially, in Madagascar, child rapists were handed forced labour sentences between five and 20 years but under the new law offenders found guilty of defiling minors under ten years will undergo surgical castration and receive life sentences in prison
For victims aged between ten and 13, chemical castration will be administered to the offenders, accompanied by 15 to 20 years of forced labour. If the perpetrator is a minor themselves, they will be exempt from castration.
The move has however been criticised by Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.
“In Madagascar, rape cases remain under-reported, and perpetrators often go free due to the victims’ and their families’ fear of retaliation, stigmatization, and a lack of trust in the judicial system,” Chagutah is quoted as saying by the BBC.
Implementing chemical and surgical castration, which constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, as a punishment for those found guilty of raping minors will not solve this and is inconsistent with Malagasy constitutional provisions against torture and other ill-treatment, as well as regional and international human rights standards.”