Child sex offenders to be chemically castrated

Jakarta - Child rights activists on Wednesday welcomed the Indonesian government's plans to use chemical castration as additional punishment for child sex offenders.

President Joko Widodo on Tuesday voiced approval for a law that provides for chemical castration for convicted paedophiles, the cabinet secretariat website said.

The chairperson of the national commission on child protection, Arist Merdeka Sirait, welcomed the proposal.

"Indonesia is facing a child abuse emergency," Sirait said.

"Child sexual abuse cases have been steadily increasing while our children have no proper protection," he said.

Government data show that child abuse cases had jumped from 2 178 cases in 2011 to 5 066 cases in 2014.

Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa said the president supported castration as a form of punishment in addition to jail terms for child sex offenders.

She added that the president planned to issue a regulation containing such provisions.

Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo said chemical castration could involve injecting a female hormone to reduce the sex drive of the offender.

Under the 2002 Child Protection Law, child sex offences are punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of about $21 800.

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