Kazakhstan is considering pros and cons of introducing chemical castration for convicted pedophiles, Tengrinews reports citing deputy head of the Department for Management of Medical Aid under the Ministry of Health and Social Development of Kazakhstan Aigul Tastanova.
The use of chemical castration - which basically implies injecting drugs to lower the levels of testosterone to suppress the sexual drive and, unlike physical castration, does not involve surgery - still remains to be a controversial issue around the world and here, in Kazakhstan.
Earlier in June, Kazakhstan's Attorney General Askhat Daulbayev expressed concern about a surge of violence against children. He brought up the recent data, which showed the increasing number of sexual crimes committed against minors. For example, while in 2010, 491 children became victims of rapists in Kazakhstan, in 2014 there were 943 such cases. "And today, such cases are registered on a daily basis. Since the beginning of this month, 16 cases of sexual abuse of minors have been registered," Daulbayev said then.
It is not immediately clear whether this dramatic statistics reflects the actual surge in the number of crimes or an improvident in detection and registration of such crimes. Whichever it is, however, the crime level is still dramatic and requires immediate attention.
Deputy Attorney General Nurmakhanbet Issayev said that it was time to consider castration as a preventive measure.
Since then, the chemical castration has been widely discussed in almost all the governmental circles.
“As for chemical castration, it is a very complicated issue and it requires deep and thorough study. At this moment, given the available information, all we can say is that this matter needs in-depth study and analysis. We have included the study and analysis of international practices of chemical castration into our action plan, which we are now working on," Aigul Tastanova told the journalists at a briefing in Astana.
She explained that a number of countries used chemical castration, but some of them, like Moldova, abolished it after their courts ruled that it was an unconstitutional measure that violated and humiliated human dignity. “Therefore, given the fact that there are different opinions, we are currently studying this issue," she said.
In fact, chemical castration, whether voluntary or mandatory, has been practiced in a number of countries including Russia, the Czech Republic that was among the first countries to introduce chemical castration, as well as Denmark, France, Germany, South Korea, and several states in the United States of America.
Critics who oppose use of castration as punishment say that it violates the basic human rights. Amnesty International also condemns use of chemical castration calling it "inhuman treatment".
According to Tastanova, Kazakhstan's Presidential Administration instructed to form an interagency working group under the auspices of Kazakhstan's Prosecutor's Office to develop a draft bill amending the existing legislation regulating prevention of violence, including sexual violence, against minors and also suicide.
“The amendments into the legislation, including the Criminal Code, the Administrative Code, the Criminal Procedures Code, Civil Procedures Code and the Code On People's Health and Health Care System, have been presented. The work is in progress now, therefore we can only say that suggestions have been developed and we are considering them now," Aigul Tastanova concluded.