Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called on lawmakers to consider "chemical castration" for pedophiles — a response to what officials have called an unprecedented wave of sexual crimes against minors.
Several nations have reportedly introduced voluntary chemical castration as a form of treatment for sex offenders, Digital Journal reports.
Medvedev's comments mark the first time the Kremlin has addressed increasing demands by Russian lawmakers and legal experts for tougher penalties for child molesters, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
Politicians and advocacy groups claim that liberal laws and lenient courts enable too many offenders to escape punishment or to return to molesting children after serving brief prison sentences. There are also claims that police protect pedophile rings and the trade in child prostitution.
In 2010, there were about 9,500 sex crimes against minors in the country, reports News 24.
The nation’s top investigator Alexander Bastrykin called for a strong "reaction to staggering cruelty and cynicism of sex crimes against minors."
According to CSM, Medvedev told a government meeting this week: "Punishments should be as harsh as possible. The state should use all means possible, and a liberal approach here is totally unacceptable. I suggest discussion of measures including medical procedures for such individuals, including injections that would block the action of their hormones."
He continued: "Considering the frightening crimes committed, I think our duty is to at least discuss this issue.”
Russia’s Investigative Committee has established a draft law for the measure, All Headline News reports.
chemical castration was first used in 1944 as a method to reduce libido and sexual activity. In its first use, diethylstilbestrol was utilized to lower men’s testosterone.
Medvedev noted that note that the injections would be on a voluntary basis and would only be operated on convicted sex offenders, according to BBC News.