In the wake of a number of high-profile child sex crimes, Indonesia will begin using chemical castration as a punishment for convicted pedophiles, the country’s attorney general said in October.
“We are very concerned about child molestation abuse cases. This phenomenon has reached extraordinary levels,” Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo said during an Oct. 20 news conference, according to Reuters.
“It has been agreed that there will be additional punishment in order to make people think a thousand times before doing this,” he added.
Prasetyo had reportedly just attended a meeting in which cabinet members agreed to chemical castration as a punishment for sex offenders. President Joko Widodo was expected to issue a presidential decree approving the measure.
Arist Merdeka Sirait, the chair of the National Commission on Child Protection, told Al-Jazeera he welcomed the decision.
“Indonesia is facing a child abuse emergency,” he said. “Child sexual abuse cases have been steadily increasing while our children have no proper protection.”
Recent attacks include a 9-year-old girl who was kidnapped, raped and murdered; her body was discovered in a cardboard box in Jakarta. An autopsy report cited by Al-Jazeera revealed she had been repeatedly raped.
And last year, the rape of a 6-year-old pupil at the Jakarta Intercultural School by a group of janitors made headlines, according to The Straits Times.
Child sex abuse in the country is punishable by 15 years behind bars, but many receive lighter sentences, Al-Jazeera reports.
The added chemical castration component to the punishment would involve giving regular injections of female hormones to the convicted offender in the hope that “his sexual desire will vanish,” Prasetyo said, according to Reuters.
The United Kingdom, Poland, South Korea, and some states in the U.S. use chemical castration for sex offenders, The Straits Times reports.