The Council of Europe called on the Czech Republic Wednesday to immediately end surgical castration for sex offenders, as it is the only country left in Europe to continue the controversial practice, AFP reported.
The Council's anti-torture committee called the procedure "invasive, irreversible and mutilating" and demanded it be stopped in a report published after visits to Czech psychiatric hospitals and Czech prisons.
"The intervention removes a person's ability to procreate and has serious physical and mental consequences," AFP quotes the report. "Moreover, given the context in which the intervention is offered, it is questionable whether consent to the option of surgical castration will always be truly free and informed."
Czech government statistics report around 300 Czech patients having undergone chemical castration since 2000, with around 50 undergoing the surgical removal of genitalia, AFP reported.
Chemical treatments — drugs that lower the testosterone, dampen the sex drive and inhibit erections — are being used in Great Britain, Sweden, Germany, Denmark and many U.S. states, but pedophile prisoners must volunteer for the treatment.