JAKARTA • Indonesia's President will soon sign a decree authorising the use of chemical castration to punish paedophiles, the attorney- general said, following a string of headline-grabbing child sex crimes.
Indonesia will join a small group of nations that allows such punishment, including Poland, Russia and Estonia, as well as some US states.
In 2011, South Korea became the first Asian country to use chemical castration as a punishment.
"We are very concerned about child molestation abuse cases. This phenomenon has reached extraordinary levels," Attorney-General H.M. Prasetyo told reporters after a Cabinet meeting late on Tuesday.
"It has been agreed that there will be additional punishment in order to make people think a thousand times before doing this," he said.
President Joko Widodo is expected to soon issue a presidential decree approving the punishment after the Cabinet agreed to it on Tuesday, said Mr Prasetyo. He added that chemical castration would involve injecting convicted paedophiles with a female hormone in the hope "his sexual desire will vanish".
The rape last year of a six-year- old pupil by a group of janitors at the United States embassy-backed Jakarta Intercultural School rekindled calls for tougher punishments.
There have been other high-profile sex crimes. A nine-year-old schoolgirl was raped and killed in the capital, Jakarta, earlier this month. A 39-year-old man has been arrested in relation to that case. Police believe the girl was strangled with a cellphone charger cable, Indonesian media reported.