Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Convicted child molesters will undergo chemical castration as an additional punishment under a new government regulation signed by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.
Jokowi had already inked the regulation on Dec 7, 2020, according to a copy of the document posted on the State Ministry Secretariat official website over the weekend. The regulation was a follow-up to the 2016 government regulation in lieu of law on child protection.
The regulation allows chemical castration via injection or other methods to those convicted of forcing minors to have sexual intercourse with themselves or other people. The chemical substance will blunt the sex offenders' libido for up to two years. The punishment is imposed if the crime involves more than one victim and results in severe injury, mental disorder, infectious disease, disturbance or loss of reproductive functions, and/or the victim's death.
According to Indonesia's criminal code (KUHP), child molestation is a crime punishable by up to nine years in prison. The offenders would undergo the chemical castration once they complete their jail sentence for their crime.
Before the procedure, a team involving medical and psychiatric experts must first carry out a clinical review to determine whether the punishment is possible. If not, the castration is postponed for six months at maximum for another clinical review. Prosecutors must inform the court if the result remains unchanged, the document wrote.
In addition to the chemical castration, molesters must wear a tracking device in the form of a bracelet for two years at most. Their identity will also be publicly announced. The mandatory tracking device and identity disclosure will also apply to those convicted of lewd acts with children. The new regulation, however, exempts child offenders from these additional punishments.
The Women Empowerment and Children Protection Ministry said it expected the regulation could deter child molesters from committing the crime. The ministry's online portal Simfoni PPA has recorded a whopping 5,640 child sexual abuse cases from Jan 1 to Dec 11, 2020.
"Child sexual abuse requires extraordinary measures such as chemical castration because these offenders have ruined Indonesia's future," the ministry's child protection deputy Nahar said in an official statement on Monday.
The government official also ensured the perpetrator would receive rehabilitation following their chemical castration.
"Offenders will not only be chemically injected but undergo rehab to hold their excessive sexual desires and get rid of their inappropriate sexual behavior. They will receive psychiatric, social, and medical rehabilitation," Nahar said.