A new bill that proposes castration for child rapists has sparked controversy in Madagascar’s justice ministry. Amnesty International has sharply criticized the plan, calling it “cruel, inhuman, and degrading.”
The National Assembly approved the bill earlier in the month, and the Senate ratified it on Wednesday, allowing for both surgical and chemical castration.
In defense of the bill, Justice Minister Landy Mbolatiana Randriamanantenasoa cited Madagascar’s sovereign right to amend its legal system in reaction to the startling increase in child rape cases—600 cases involving minors were reported last year.
In the past, a minimum of five years in jail was assigned for child rape.
Victims found guilty of raping children under the age of ten risk surgical castration under the new law.
The measure also mandates chemical or surgical castration for individuals convicted of raping adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 and for those who commit crimes against children between the ages of 10 and 13.
President Andry Rajoelina must wait for the High Constitutional Court’s final approval before signing it into law.
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