(Oct. 9, 2009) On September 30, 2009, the State Duma of the Russian Federation (the lower house of the legislature) included in its agenda a bill on amendments to the Criminal Code that introduces the use of drugs to lower the sex drive as a punishment for violent sexual crimes committed against minors. The bill states that criminals will be sentenced to sterilization by this method if they commit a rape or other acts of sexual violence against children under 14, had sexual relations with children under 12, or performed any other lewd actions with the children under 12 years of age. According to the bill, a court may substitute life imprisonment for a sentence of sterilization and a prison term.
In 2008, about 7,000 children were victims of sexual predators in the country, making up about half of all sexual crimes committed in Russia. In introducing his bill, Duma Member Anton Belyakov stated that “castration [i.e., lowering the sex drive through administration of drugs] is the least inconvenience we may cause to the destroyers of our families and murderers of our children,” and cited government research that found that 97% of sexual predators repeat their crimes about two years after their treatment or serving a sentence. (Duma Will Discuss a Bill on Castration of Pedophiles [in Russian], Novosti, Sept. 30, 2009, available at http://www.gazeta.ru/news/lenta/2009/09/30/n_1408922.shtml; for a similar development in Poland, see Wendy Zeldin, Poland: Chemical Castration for Pedophiles, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR, Oct. 9, 2009, available at //www.loc.gov/lawweb/servlet/lloc_news?disp3_1614_text.)