Lithuanian lawmakers took one more step towards adopting a bill allowing chemical castration of convicted sex offenders, as the Baltic EU state is still reeling from a child abuse scandal, 15min.lt reports.
In its first reading on Tuesday, lawmakers from across the political spectrum unanimously endorsed the draft legislation which seeks mandatory treatment for the reduction of the sex drive in individuals convicted of sex crimes, LETA/AFP reports.
The bill is expected to be fully adopted after two more readings during the autumn parliamentary session beginning in September, just a month ahead of a general election.
“The number of sex crimes is not decreasing and society must have an instrument to protect itself,” said opposition MP Valentinas Mazuronis who submitted the bill.
“Society must choose as its priority the rights of potential victims, not those of criminals,” he told AFP.
The bill stipulates that courts be allowed to order the use of drugs that reduce one’s libido for up to five years for convicted paedophiles and up to three years for other sex offenders.
The authors said similar laws had been adopted in other ex-communist EU states: the Czech Republic, Estonia, and Poland, while the treatment was also applied in Canada, Denmark, Sweden, and the United States.
The move comes as Lithuania is rattled by a high-profile paedophilia scandal which surfaced three years ago.