Poland has a new tool in its fight against pedophiles—chemical castration. A new law states that men convicted of raping a child under 15 or a close relative can be forced to take libido-lowering medication, even after their sentence has been served. The law came into effect June 8 after being passed in Poland’s parliament last September. Prime Minister Donald Tusk first raised the issue in 2008, when Poles were shocked by the case of a man who had allegedly imprisoned his daughter for six years, raping her repeatedly and fathering two children. At the time, Tusk angered human rights groups by saying, “I don’t believe that such individuals, such creatures, can be called human. In this case one can’t even argue on behalf of human rights.”
Drugs such as leuprorelin (also used in the treatment of prostrate cancer) suppress the production of testosterone in men, thereby lowering sex drive. Though Poland is the first country to make it mandatory, chemical castration is currently used in other European countries like Sweden, France and Germany. It’s also used in Canada, where sex offenders can be required to take medication as a condition of their parole, though they aren’t obligated to continue once they’ve completed their sentence.