Madagascar approves castration law for child rapists

Madagascar’s parliament has passed a law that will enable chemical and surgical castration of those convicted of raping minors, amid criticism from international human rights groups and support from activists.

Andry Rajoelina, president of Madagascar.
Andry Rajoelina, president of Madagascar. Photo courtesy: India in Madagascar and Comoros

The senate of Madagascar passed the law which will enable chemical, and in some cases, surgical castration of those convicted of raping a minor.

The law now needs to be confirmed and then enacted by President Andry Rajoelina, who initiated the issue in December leading to the introduction of the new law.

The law has faced opposition from international human rights groups, but has also received praise from activists in Madagascar who say the law is a suitable way to prevent a “rape culture”.

Justice minister Landy Randriamanantenasoa said it was a required move because of a rise in incidents of rape against children.

She said 600 cases of the rape of a minor were reported in 2023, and 133 in January this year alone.

Surgical castration – the irreversible process of removing one’s genitals to stop the production of sex hormones – “will always be imposed” for those guilty of raping a child under the age of 10, according to the law’s text.

Cases of rape against children between the ages of 10 and 13 will be punished by surgical or chemical castration (not a form of sterilisation as drugs are used to suppress hormone production).

The rape of children aged between 14 and 17 will be punished by chemical castration.

Offenders also now face stricter sentences of up to life in prison, as well as castration.

Ms Randriamanantenasoa said: “We wanted to protect children much more. The younger the child, the higher the penalty.”

However, human rights group Amnesty International condemned the law as “inhuman and degrading” and said it was not consistent with the island’s constitutional laws.

One adviser for the group cautioned of the “lack of trust” in the country’s justice system due to “lack of transparency and corruption”.

They said since complaints and trials are not done anonymously revenge against rape victims was “common”.

The Amnesty adviser added that surgical castration was problematic if anyone who undergoes it is later acquitted of a crime on appeal.

They also expressed doubts over the abilities of medical authorities to perform the procedures.

Share this news
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments