Crime

Sex Offenders Who Prey On Children In Indonesia Can Now Legally Be Castrated

Sex Offenders Who Prey On Children In Indonesia Can Now Legally Be Castrated
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Child sex offenders in Indonesia now face castration. This law came into force when the country's president, Joko Widodo, signed a decree that authorized chemical castration for those convicted of sexual offenses against children.

The law also requires people released on parole under these charges to wear electronic monitoring devices.

The law was introduced after a 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and murdered while heading home. Following the crime, seven teenage boys were sentenced to 10 years in prison each.

There was a nationwide outcry over the crime, and people called for the chemical castration of those found guilty of child sexual offenses.

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The decree was an amendment to a child protection law of 2002, giving judges the authority to order the chemical castration of offenders.

In a news conference, Mr. Joko said:

"The inclusion of such an amendment will provide space for the judge to decide severe punishments as a deterrent effect on perpetrators."

The president also said that such crimes undermined the development of children and caused problems with regard to society's sense of peace, public order, and security. According to Mr. Joko, this was the reason they had decided to handle the matter in an "extraordinary way."

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He also noted that sexual crimes against children had increased at the time within the country. Nevertheless, his government did not give any information to support these claims.

The maximum jail sentence for child sex offenders was also increased from 10 years to 20 years.

Just a year earlier, the country removed an unofficial moratorium on capital punishment. This came about after the country started facing a drug crisis.

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As a result, 13 convicted drug traffickers were executed by firing squad. This brought about an international outrage.

With chemical castration, drugs are used to lower an individual's sex drive.

Indonesia is not the only country to use this intervention on pedophiles and sex offenders. In some places, sex offenders face this outcome in exchange for a more lenient prison sentence.

Other countries where chemical castration is used include Australia, Russia, the United States, and South Korea. The procedure was first introduced in the 1940s.

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Still, chemical castration has many critics. According to Heather Barr, a researcher on Human Rights Watch, chemical castration is a "false solution" to a more complicated and difficult issue.

As far as she is concerned, the protection of children from sexual crimes should include the social services system, school-based efforts that detect and prevent abuse, and treatment of those likely to commit such crimes:

"Chemical castration on its own addresses none of these needs..."

As far as Barr is concerned, medical interventions should not be used as a punishment but as part of a skilled treatment program.