Moscow: The Russian Parliament's upper house -- the Federation Council -- has approved a law that would provide tougher penalties, including life imprisonment and chemical castration, for paedophiles.
The draft bill, which tightens punishment for most kind of sex crimes against minors, was introduced by the Kremlin in October and generated much debate and revision.
Earlier this month, the bill was passed by the lower house -- the State Duma.
The most widely discussed innovation is chemical castration, which is to be introduced into Russia for the first time.
The bill in its current form only speaks about "mandatory medical treatment" without elaborating. But officials who worked on the draft said it includes both chemical castration and psychiatric drug treatment.
Convicts in other types of sex crimes involving minors will have the option of voluntarily seeking chemical castration when pleading for parole, the bill said.
Poland enacted a similar law in 2009 that allows forced chemical castration in some circumstances.
Portugal and Britain also recently used chemical castration when handing down sentences in sexual abuse cases.
First Published: Thursday, February 23, 2012, 08:50