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Russian Law to Lock Children at Home
April 25, 2008 14:59

Russian police is concerned about growing number of crimes against children. The head of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs claimed that it is essential to introduce restrictions on time of the day when under-18s are permitted to stay outdoors in order to avoid possible crimes against them. He believes that 10 p.m. should become curfew for children and teenagers.

Experts regard the initiative of the Minister as a piecemeal approach unable to reduce the number of crimes against children in the country.

According to the recent data of the Committee of Inquiry at the Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation, the amount of bad crimes against children including sexual assaults and murders is consistently increasing year by year. Over 161 thousand crimes of this kind were registered in 2007: 2.5 thousand children were killed, 2 786 children were badly injured. Horrible stories about murders and crimes of violence against children are weekly observed in the media.

 For the last month the representatives of the law enforcement bodies have repeatedly warned the population of the fact that spring is the time when pedophiles and maniacs become active. In response to this they call parents to keep a sharp lookout for their children and never leave them alone outside, particularly in the evening. Meanwhile, experts mark that parents are not able to protect their children on their own, and locking them at home is not the best solution. All citizens, regardless of their age and social status, must be protected by the law and the state.

However, there are still no efficient measures capable of decreasing the number of crimes against children. Some officials believe only preventative activities will be of some result. The police must respond immediately to any calls, keep a close watch on mentally unstable people and realize the responsibility of their work. The sentences pronounced at the judicial courts must be appropriate for the crimes committed. In fact, the modern Russian laws provide too light punishment for pedophilia.

 134 article of the Criminal code of the Russian Federation, “sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16 and other sexual activities with or directed towards such a person” is penalized with only 4 years of imprisonment. 135 article “sexual abuse” of the Criminal Code states the criminal can “get off lightly” and pay a fine of 300 thousand rubles (about $13000), the maximum term of imprisonment for sexual abuse is 3 years.

Three or four years for sure are not enough for the crime of pedophilia. Some radical officials consider capital punishment the only appropriate penalty for pedophilia, but others think 10 years of imprisonment is more or less reasonable sentence. As for the repeated relapse into crime, the criminals should know they must face the life imprisonment.

The government has to take principal measures as soon as possible; otherwise, the number of pedophiles and maniacs will inevitably grow.


Olga Pletneva

Tags: Russian laws society    

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