JAKARTA • Indonesia has moved a step closer to allowing chemical castration as a punishment for child-sex offenders, according to the country's National Commission on Child Protection.
President Joko Widodo is set to issue a regulation in lieu of law which stipulates a harsher punishment for anyone who commits sexual violence against children, which will involve injecting a hormone to reduce libido and sexual activity.
"The President has agreed to include imposing chemical castration in the regulation in lieu of law," said Mr Aris Merdeka Sirait, the commission's head, in a statement on the Cabinet Secretary website.
He added that the regulation will also classify sexual abuse against children as an extraordinary crime.
Indonesia has witnessed a string of headline-grabbing cases of child- sex assault in recent years. In October, the body of a nine-year-old girl was discovered stuffed in a cardboard box in Jakarta, and an autopsy revealed that she had been repeatedly assaulted sexually. A 39-year-old man was later arrested as the suspect. Last year, five cleaners at international schools were given jail terms ranging from seven to eight years for sexually assaulting kindergarten pupils in Jakarta.
Malaysia and India recently announced that they were mulling over similar measures. South Korea was the first Asian country to permit the punishment in 2011.
Russia, Poland and some states in the United States have long allowed such treatment.