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MOSCOW, October 20. /TASS/. The rate of sexual abuse against children in Russia is growing catastrophically, alarmed experts are warning society. Many urge extra measures in addition to the existing ones, which quite often just do not work. Some are for launching money-raising campaigns to finance the chemical castration of pedophiles and for keeping them under surveillance after they have served the prison term. According to the available statistics a pedophile turns into a habitual criminal in 97% of cases.
Mass media report cases of sex abuse against minors with alarming regularity. Just recently the police detained several crime rings responsible for sexual exploitation of youngsters under age. Just several days ago the Moscow Region’s police detained four serial pedophiles who in caretakers’ disguise were accompanying children to different health resorts inside Russia and in other countries.
By the law the pedophiles are punishable with prison terms ranging three to ten years, and up to 20 years behind bars, if the boy or girl is under twelve years of age. Experts believe, though, the irreversibility of punishment is far more important than its harshness. In the meantime, too many manage to shirk responsibility.
It has turned out that the law on extra measures of medical influence on pedophiles (in other words, chemical castration and compulsory treatment) is not used properly due to financial constraints. “Over the two and a half years the law has been in operation there has been not a single case of its application against pedophiles,” the children’s rights commissioner’s office told the Daily Moskovsky Komsomolets. “We have dispatched a request on that score to the Russian government only to hear in reply there is no money available for this.”
The chairman of the State Duma’s committee for the affairs of the family, women and children, Yelena Mizulina, has suggested pedophiles should wear electronic bracelets that would let keep track of their movements once they are out of the prison gates. Mizulina is going to discuss this initiative with specialists and propose a corresponding bill soon.
“The efforts to tighten legislation against pedophiles should go on,” Mizulina told the daily Izvestia. “A system of electronic bracelets for pedophiles is required to let the law enforcement agencies monitor their movements and prevent their contacts with children.”
It will be up to the court to decide for how long an ex-convict should wear the bracelet: for 10-15 years or for the rest of one’s lifetime, Mizulina explained.
The people do not have wide access to information about these people: when a pedophile leaves prison and settles some place, the neighbours have no idea about his criminal past,” an Internet activist, Filipp Gross-Dneprov, told the Vesti FM radio station. By the law the information about pedophiles can be accessible only to the medical authorities in the person’s neighbourhood, on a very limited scale and ... only on the condition of the pedophile’s consent. “This means one can abandon all plans for creating an open data base any school headmaster or a hospital’s chief doctor might use to see if it is safe to hire this or that new employee and any parent might visit to check if it does not contain a photo of the new neighbour that had moved in the other day.”
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