A new amendment to the Pakistan Penal Code, now in effect, allows parents to request for a chemical castration of their minors who commit rape, according to The Guardian.
The change was signed into law by the president earlier this week as part of an amendment to the existing law that allowed sexual offenders to not serve jail time if they presented a severe psychological or moral problem to their families, according to the BBC. The amendments removed these standards, allowing parents of underage rapists to request that the court declare their children a “moral castrate” and then sentence them to medical treatments that will render them unable to have sexual relations or reproduce.
The amendment also reduces the penalty for men convicted of rape, from 20 years to 14 years.
But the Amnesty International issued a note saying that despite the change in the law, the issue of girls being sexually assaulted in Pakistan “remains entirely unresolved,” given the lack of transparency in sexual crimes in the country. In 2018, the group reported that 38 percent of the most reported sexual offenses against girls were never prosecuted. Pakistan and India, Asia’s biggest democracy, lead the continent in the number of sex attacks against girls, and India is also the only country that doesn’t have the right to protection for minors.
On Thursday, Pakistan president Mamnoon Hussain spoke out against the anti-rapist bill, saying that Pakistan’s needs had not been addressed adequately by the amended laws.
“It must be ensured that someone convicted of such offenses is punished through the existing mechanisms in the laws,” Hussain said. “It must be ensured that cases of sexual crimes against women and children are dealt with by the existing law with due concern and it is ensured that the new law becomes the decisive pillar of measures to stop and end child rape in the country.”
Hussain also voiced doubts about the effectiveness of chemical castration, saying that “the introduction of any preventive measure without clear evidence and using conditions for its implementation will definitely prove to be an imposition of social and moral norms on the juvenile offenders and therefore, will fail to bring any much desired deterrence.”
Read the full story at The Guardian.
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