Amendments to Russian law on child sexual abuse

Russia adopts law on life imprisonment for paedophiles. The new document increases liability for those committing crimes of a sexual nature against minors.


Amendments to the Criminal Code were adopted in the third reading by the State Duma on January 18.

The punishments will threaten those who have previously been convicted of violent acts against minors or have committed crimes against two or more children.

“These amendments do not fundamentally change anything and the number of child victims will not be reduced,” said Anna Mezhova, president of the Saving Life Foundation. “Take, for example, the recent tragedy in Kostroma. Would this law have saved that child? Of course not. There is nothing new that would have prevented the initial tragedy- just the same life-long supervision of those who have already committed similar crimes.”

According to Anna Mezhova, in these cases it is important to start with special investigators, who are able to work with children, as well as psychologists, who must be trained to accompany the child during investigations. Additionally, ‘Green Rooms’ should be used, which are specially equipped rooms designed to work with children who have been the victims of violence.

Only after that is it necessary to think about amendments to the law. The law should not contain the current caveat of punishment after the second crime. Otherwise, it results in a case of sitting and waiting for the second crime to be committed before taking action, says an expert in an interview with an ASI correspondent.

Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of the State Duma, also noted in his Telegram channel that other aggravating circumstances are now being taken into account, for example if the violence is committed by a person in the same household as the child. It has also been proposed to suspend the statute of limitations for crimes against young children until the victim has reached the age of majority.


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