The human rights NGO Amnesty International (AI) has called on Madagascar authorities to repeal a law that allows chemical and surgical castration as punishment for the rape of children.
This measure "constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, as punishment for those found guilty of raping minors," said AI regional director for eastern and southern Africa, Tigere Chagutah, in a statement.
Furthermore, he stressed, it is "incompatible with the Malagasy constitutional provisions against torture and other ill-treatment, as well as with regional and international human rights standards."
According to AI, authorities should prioritize a survivor-centered approach that "empowers survivors and allows them to report safely without fear of stigmatization and retaliation," and allows "perpetrators to be effectively held accountable."
In Madagascar, rape cases remain unreported and perpetrators often go free due to victims and their families' fear of reprisals, stigmatization and lack of trust in the justice system, according to the NGO.
Last January 24, the bill aimed at inserting chemical and surgical castration into the Malagasy Penal Code as punishment for people found guilty of statutory rape was presented to the National Assembly for approval.
The National Assembly adopted it on the 2nd and the Senate approved it this Wednesday. The bill will go through the Supreme Constitutional Court before the East African island country's president, Andry Rajoelina, signs into law the new amendments.