Nigeria’s Kaduna Passes Law Allowing Castration of Child Rapists

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Governor Malam Nasir Ahmad of the state of Kaduna passed a law allowing the castration of convicted child rapists. In addition to this, the law also provides for the death penalty for child sexual abusers where the child is of age 14 or lesser. 

 Background 

Nigeria has seen a spike in the number of rape cases since the lockdown had been imposed. The outcry was raised when a 22-year-old university student was raped and bludgeoned to death. This snowballed into the country coming together against the heinous crime.

An online petition with social media hashtag, #WeAreTired was started. Kaduna State in Nigeria had a law which provides for a 21-year sentence for the conviction of rape in case of an adult victim. The period of imprisonment was extended to life if the victim was a child. 

The Bill 

The rape laws in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country has not changed in decades. It has remained archaic and static for the longest time. In furtherance of the castration provision the new law has broadened the scope under which sexual offences can be tried and penalized.

The previous law also had a limitation of two months within which if not tried, they would be deemed ineligible. This new law has removed that provision in order to allow for removal of trivial constraints the victims have to face. The new law is envisioned to act as a deterrent in the further commission of the crime. 

Implications 

Many activists in Nigeria welcomed the bill and hoped for the curbing of the rise of rapes in Nigeria. Surgical castrations are not widely accepted everywhere in the world but is a controversial law that very few countries have adopted.


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