India introduces death penalty for rape of young children

India’s government has prescribed the death penalty for people convicted of raping children under 12 to help combat an increase in violent crime against women.

An ordinance was approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet on Saturday and was being sent to the president for approval, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

The ordinance will require the approval of Parliament within six months in order to become law. But in the meantime, suspects can be prosecuted using the ordinance.

The move follows widespread outrage over the recent rape and killing of an 8-year-old girl in India’s Jammu-Kashmir state, the alleged rape of a girl by a ruling party lawmaker in Uttar Pradesh state and several other rape cases involving girls in the country.