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Chemical castration AND jail time for Indonesian child sex offenders

Child sex offenders in Indonesia face chemical castration on top of their jail time under new guidelines

  • President Joko Widodo signed chemical castration into law in Indonesia in 2016
  • But it has been rarely used amid uncertainty by doctors and legal sector
  • He has issued new guidelines stating sex offenders can be injected after jail
  • The procedure involves a jab which lowers testosterone and sexual arousal 

Indonesia has issued new guidelines on a controversial law which allows convicted paedophiles to be chemically castrated. 

Experts will now have the power to asses whether convicted child sex offenders should undergo the operation on top of their jail time.

Offenders will also have electronic chips implanted after their release and their identity will be publicly revealed.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has issued new guidelines on a controversial law which allows convicted paedophiles to be chemically castrated

President Joko Widodo signed the new measures into law after castration was first approved by parliament in 2016.

Chemical castration, which is legal in the US and parts of Europe, uses injections to lower levels of testosterone and sexual arousal.

The effects can wear off unless the injection is administered every three months. 

Some say it helps stop the illegal urges of sex offenders but others say it is an inhumane punishment.

Indonesia approved the controversial law in 2016 after outcry over a child rape case and in 2019 it was first used on a man convicted of raping multiple children.

He was sentenced to the injection by a local court in East Java but authorities struggled to find a hospital that could carry it out.

Doctors also refused to administer the jab because of ethical reasons and a lack of evidence to support the punishment. 

Some medical experts also believe the procedure can cause side effects such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and anaemia.  

Under the new guidelines signed off by Widodo, convicted sex offenders will only undergo the treatment for a maximum of two years.  

Chemical castration, which is legal in the US and parts of Europe, uses injections to lower levels of testosterone and sexual arousal

Chemical castration, which is legal in the US and parts of Europe, uses injections to lower levels of testosterone and sexual arousal

It will only be carried out after the completion of a prison sentence after the offender has undergone medical and psychological assessments.

Experts will then decide if the castration is appropriate.

The new guidelines state that sex offenders will qualify for castration if their victims have died, they assaulted multiple children, they spread sexually transmitted diseases or caused mental disorders, severe injuries or reproductive problems in the victims.

Nurina Savitri, Indonesia’s media and campaign manager for Amnesty International said chemical castration was ineffective in stopping attacks against children.

She told The Star: ‘The sexual abuse of children is indescribably horrific, but subjecting offenders to chemical castration or execution is not justice; it is adding one cruelty to another.

‘It violates the International Human Rights Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.’

She added that since castration was approved in 2016 in Indonesia, sexual violence against children has gone up.  

The procedure was recently approved in Pakistan and is also in use in Ukraine, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Russia, Poland and some US states. 

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