MOSCOW, August 28 (RAPSI) – Children's Rights Commissioner Anna Kuznetsova has asked the State Duma to step up its work on a bill envisaging tougher punishment for sexual abuse of children, so it could be approved sooner, a statement on the Ombudsman’s website reads on Wednesday.

Kuznetsova has addressed a petition to this effect to the Chairman of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin.

The press service reminds that the bill aimed to amend certain provisions of Russia’s Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure in order to introduce stricter punishment for offenders against sexual immunity of minors was approved by the State Duma in the first reading in July, 2018.

According to the Interior Ministry statistics, a trend towards an increase in the number of sexual offenses against children has been observed over the last three years. While in 2016 there were registered 5,835 such offences, in 2018 their number was up by 14.6% and made over 14,000.