Indonesia Approves Castrating Child Rapists

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo issued a regulation Wednesday that provides tougher penalties for child rapists, including chemical castration and the death penalty.

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An Indonesian woman takes part in a rally against the sexual abuse of children and women in Medan. The protest followed the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl. Photograph: Albert Damanik / Barcroft Images

He said the administrative order is a response to increasing sexual violence against children.

“I have declared that sexual offenses against children are an extraordinary crime, because they threaten and endanger the lives of children,” Jokowi said.

“An extraordinary crime deserves an exceptional response,” he said. “Therefore, this regulation imposes heavier punishments and additional measures for the perpetrators of the violence.”

Demands for harsher punishments have increased following the rape and murder of a teenage girl by 14 men in western Indonesia last month.

The new regulation amends a Child Protection Law issued in 2002 that carried a maximum 15-year prison sentence for persons having intercourse with a minor.

Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa said Tuesday that the regulation provides greater punishments for offenders as well as psychosocial therapy for victims and their families.

She said the punishments include chemical castration for pedophiles, the use of electronic monitoring bracelets, and publication of offender identities.

By introducing chemical castration, Indonesia joins a small group who use the punishment worldwide, including Poland and some states in the US. In 2011, South Korea became the first Asian country to legalise the punishment.

Widodo did not give further details about tagging suspects with monitoring devices. Local media previously reported that a microchip could be implanted in child sex offenders’ legs on their release from jail.

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