Madagascar has made amendments to the Malagasy Penal Code which now allows for chemical and surgical castration as punishment for rape against minors but rights group Amnesty International has described the proposed measures as inhuman and degrading
On January 24, 2024, Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina proposed new amendments to the Malagasy Penal Code that include chemical and surgical castration as punishment for individuals found guilty of rape against minors.
The changes have since been agreed by MPs and will now be reviewed by the Supreme Constitutional Court before being signed into law.
Amnesty International has urged the Malagasy authorities to bring the amendments in line with human rights standards while prioritizing the well-being, rights and needs of survivors.
“In Madagascar, rape cases remain under-reported, and perpetrators often go free due to the victims’ and their families’ fear of retaliation, stigmatization, and a lack of trust in the judicial system.
“Implementing chemical and surgical castration, which constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, as a punishment for those found guilty of raping minors will not solve this and is inconsistent with Malagasy constitutional provisions against torture and other ill-treatment, as well as regional and international human rights standards,” said Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.
Chagutah said the Malagasy authorities must instead prioritize a survivor-centered approach, which empowers and enables survivors to report safely without fear of stigmatization and retaliation.
According to Chagutah, a survivor centered approach effectively holds perpetrator to account and introduces necessary reforms to the criminal justice system to ensure survivors can access timely justice and remedies, and moreover, strengthens prevention efforts to address and eliminate root causes.