Suicide: Still A Crime for These Countries 


Suicide is still a punishable offence for many nations. The Pandemic has implanted several insecurities; mental health deteriorated due to Covid19 health risks, lack of physical socialization, loss of loved ones, and worry due to business failures or joblessness or deduction of wages.

Since 2003, World Suicide Prevention Day has been observed every September 10th to raise awareness about one of today’s most pervasive health issues: mental health and suicide.

It emphasizes the idea that suicide can be avoided with prompt intervention and aims to create awareness about the importance of taking preventive actions to reduce suicides worldwide.


Suicide attempts can be sentenced to prison. Most countries/regions have laws that prohibit instigating, assisting or encouraging suicide, but the nature and punishments of illegal acts vary.

A comparison of rules has been made of different places: civil law, Islamic law, Common law, and traditional legal systems.

We can find a massive difference in the application, sometimes within the country itself. It is impossible to estimate the number of people currently in prison for this attempt to suicide, but those who attempt suicide continue to be sentenced to jail.

At the same time, some countries ignore the law and do not prosecute suicide attempts, while others have imprisoned suicide attempts.

In other areas where suicide attempts have been decriminalized, it is still a crime when another person is injured or killed by the suicide.

Apart from this, if the one who tries to commit suicide is found to be a military person, they can still be prosecuted.

We discuss the root causes of laws that make suicide illegal, aid and encourage suicide and study the prospects for future change.

The recent verdict by the Supreme Court of Canada made it illegal to help suicidal patients suffering from physical illnesses, illustrating the current trend of “liberalization” of assisted suicide.

Countries That Consider Suicide a Crime and Countries That Don’t

Even in this 21st Century, several countries continue to consider suicide a punishable offence. From the copies of the criminal laws obtained from many nations, we find suicide continues to be considered illegal.


As per section 309 under the Indian Penal Code, anyone attempting suicide is a criminal and is punishable with a sentence to prison for up to one year along with a fine. However, in 2014 Government of India modified it striking down Section 309 and decriminalizing suicide.


In the state of Victoria, suicide can no longer be called a crime, but a survivor can be charged with murder. Encouraging others to commit suicide is also a criminal offence.


Suicide was removed from the Criminal code of Canada in the year 1972 by the Parliament of Canada.


Suicide here though illegal but not considered a crime.


Any form of suicide where the victim is getting assistance is a crime in China.


Attempted suicide isn’t a criminal offence in Ireland. It was decriminalized back in 1993. But, assisted suicide and willful extermination are unlawful and are presently challenged at the High Court.

North Korea

North Korea incorporates an unconventional obstacle for suicides. Even though the state cannot punish a dead individual, in North Korea, relatives of a criminal can be penalized.


Suicide or attempt to suicide isn’t illegal in Norway.


Suicide itself isn’t illegal in Romania, but in any case, empowering or encouraging the suicide of another individual could be a criminal offence and is culpable by up to 10 years in prison. (Depending on circumstances)


Threatening or encouraging, or forcing somebody to suicide is guilty by up to 5 years in prison. Even websites that contain suicide jokes are censored in Russia.

South Africa

Attempting or committing suicide isn’t considered a criminal offence.

Ray of Hope

The topic set for this year is ‘Creating Hope Through Action’ highlights how to make a difference in individuals’ lives by pointing out their troubles, reasons for depression and curing it. This can lead to their well-being and prevent them from taking the extreme step of ending their life.

Sreyasi Datta
Sreyasi Datta
An educator by profession, Sreyasi is an M.A. in English Literature. Enthusiastic about trending affairs around the world. Loves to express through writing. Tech Savvy. An Otaku who particularly prefers old anime. Caninophile. Metalhead. Foodie. An odd combination of “oh so sweet” and “shouldn’t mess with her” Thinks more than speak, notices more than you can ever realize!



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