Jakarta. The Indonesian government’s watchdog for child protection has demanded that convicted pedophiles face stiff prison sentences, including the possibility of death, in addition to a government proposal for forced chemical castration.
“We would like to see pedophiles chemically castrated, of course, but this should be an additional punishment, because in our opinion they still have to be sent to prison for at least five years,” Erlinda, the secretary general of the Indonesian Commission for Child Protection (KPAI), said on Tuesday as quoted by CNN Indonesia.
The 2014 Child Protection Law stipulates mandatory sentencing of five to 15 years for sex crimes against minors. Erlinda, though, says the law should be revised to include the possibility of the death sentence.
The KPAI has joined a chorus of support from conservative groups and politicians for the government’s plan to introduce a regulation permitting the chemical castration of convicted pedophiles. Critics, though, point out that the Indonesian justice system is so severely flawed that the risk of an innocent person being subjected to this punishment is unacceptably high.
Erlinda said there needed to be greater efforts by the authorities and community to prevent the sexual abuse of minors.
“Many people are still not fully aware of the issue. They don’t know what sexual assault against children is, what a pedophile is, and even there are even those who treat the issue casually,” she said. “We therefore need to inform parents, teachers and kids about all these.”
The KPAI, a government-funded body, and the National Commission for Child Protection (Komnas Anak), an NGO, have declared Indonesia to be in the grip of a “child sex abuse emergency,” following a recent spate of cases of sexual assault against minors.
Source: Jakarta Globe, October 28, 2015