The Kaduna State House of Assembly in Nigeria has approved surgical castration as punishment for those convicted of raping children under the age of 14.
State governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, who has previously supported castration to prevent rapists from repeating the offense, is required to sign the bill to become law in the state.
This comes after a public outcry over a wave of rape cases which prompted the country’s state governors to declare a state of emergency.
Currently, the state penal law provides for 21 years of imprisonment for the rape of an adult and life imprisonment in the case of a child.
Since 2015, when a new law was introduced, about 40 rape suspects have been charged, in a country of some 200 million people, according to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (Naptip), which has a sex offenders’ list on its website.
The new law broadened the scope under which sexual offenses can be penalized in Nigeria and removed the time limit of two months during which rape cases had to be tried before they became ineligible to be heard in a court.