A new draft bill currently before the Cabinet brings a major overhaul over the sentencing of sexual abuse, particularly for offenders involved in abuse of children.
Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdağ announced on Friday that the bill will bring the heftiest sentences ever for convicts. "Crime of rape and subsequent murder of minors will be punished with aggravated life imprisonment. The minimum term in such crimes will be 50 years in prison. This is a sentence unprecedented in the Turkish Penal Code," he said, adding punishment for rape and murder of a child will be the heaviest under current Turkish laws.
The bill, expected to be presented to the Parliament soon, will also include the landmark practice of chemical castration. A hotly debated issue a few years ago, it will be the first time that the castration will be applied if the bill passes. Government officials have earlier said that the chemical castration will likely be applied only for repeat offenders and only after they serve jail time. Akdağ did not openly say chemical castration while speaking about "rehabilitation" of offenders but he said the offenders would have "their sexual desires repressed through injection of hormones." He said it would be only carried out if the court rules in its favor. Chemical castration is currently practiced in several countries in various forms, including seven states in the United States, Russia, South Korea, Poland and Indonesia.
The matter was under the spotlight recently after a public outcry over the abuse of a 4-year-old girl by her neighbor. The government launched a joint committee of several ministries to come up with ways to fight the disturbing phenomenon. The government is also working on a new campaign that will teach children about the privacy of body parts and physical boundaries.
Akdağ said the bill would also ban employment of convicted offenders in places serving children, both in the public and private sector. He said they were already banned from working on school buses. Offenders will be flagged on a social security database where potential employers can query.
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