Thursday, May 15, 2014


     Jakarta, May 15, 2014 (Antara) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono again chaired a limited cabinet meeting to discuss effective measures to protect children from pedophiles, following reports of an increasing number of children becoming victims of sexual predators in several provinces.
        The government had outlined 40 planned measures for a national movement against child abuse and violence to be implemented by the authorities and every element of the community, Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Agung Laksono told the press after the meeting on May 14, 2014.      

     The movement will involve 17 ministries, which will discuss and draft a presidential instruction to be implemented nationally and at the regional level. The participation of the government and the community in general, including NGOs, is needed.

         The 40 measures will include a revision of the Law No. 23 on Child Protection to strengthen law enforcement on and prevention of child abuse and violence.
          The revision would suggest heavier punishment for sexual predators and improvement of children's rights in line with the International Convention on Children's Rights, Indonesian Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Linda Amaliasari Gumelar, who also attended the meeting, said.
         "The process of the revision of the law is expected to be carried out (by the government) together with the current Parliament. We are ready with the scientific study," the minister said.
         In the meeting, Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi proposed chemical castration as one of the 40 plans to deter and prevent pedophiles and rapists from committing similar crimes in the future.
         "There are male and female hormones.  The libido can be reduced by taking certain drugs," the minister said, adding that consequently it could reduce sexual desires. In response to the suggestion, President Yudhoyono reminded that therapy for the victims should also be prioritized.
         Previously, Indonesia's National Commission on Child Protection (Komnas PA) had also called for meting out stern punishment, including castration, to sexual predators, similar to what is followed in several other countries. 
  Several countries, such as Turkey, Korea, China, and others in Asia, as well as Europe have already implemented the castration policy, the minister pointed out.
         "The current law on child protection carries a relatively light punishment with a maximum sentence of only 15 years in jail," Komnas PA Chairman Arist Merdeka Sirait said on May 6, 2014.
         "In several cases, the perpetrators have even been released, and this has made us very concerned over the condition of child protection in our country," he added.
         Arist's statement came following appalling reports of sexual assaults being committed at the Jakarta International School on children, and later, in Sukabumi, West Java.
         He remarked that in the last four years, Komnas PA had notified the government and informed the House of Representatives regarding the importance of amending the current law which is too lenient.
        In his viewpoint, chemical castration must be ordered for adults who are repeat sex offenders and have preyed on several victims.
       "Due to leniency in law, Indonesia has become a haven for pedophiles," he pointed out.
        Seto Mulyadi, a child rights activist, also shared the view of the need to use chemical castration against sexual predators. 
   "I think a number of countries have applied the castration sanction. It could prevent them from committing similar crimes repeatedly and deter other predators," Seto Mulyadi told detikcom on May 15.
        In the United States, California was the first to pass a castration law in 1996.  Other states followed suit, to varying success, according to 
    About 265,000 sex offenders were incarcerated in state prisons, according to U.S. Department of Justice figures. Some 750,000 were listed on sex offender registration lists.
         However, the concept of using chemicals to reduce the libido of convicted sex offenders does not necessarily work that well. 
    Recidivism rates of sex offenders indeed dropped from 80 percent to just five percent or less among untreated convicts and those chemically castrated, respectively.
         Studies in Germany showed that about three percent of castrated offenders repeated their crimes. For those who did not undergo castration, the figure ranged from 46 percent to 75 percent.
         But, as the world learned in the 1990s, there is still plenty of room for a relapse with chemical castration. In 1998, a man named Joseph Frank Smith was convicted of sexual crimes and was suspected of 75 more, this despite him being chemically castrated in 1983 after he was convicted of raping the same woman twice.
         Smith's castration was not effective simply because he stopped taking the drugs. But even among those who follow the prescribed course as directed, there is still a chance for sexual arousal and even erection. In fact, even removal of the testes does not necessarily result in a total loss of sexual urge and the ability to have sex.
         Removal of the penis, or a penectomy, along with the testicles, followed by drug therapy to reduce production of the hormones produced by the pituitary gland would likely be the only way to fully remove sex drive from a male, according to a research.
         A Pedophile is a disease like "cancer", and therefore the "sick" penis should be completely removed before it "spreads" to other areas and harms innocent children. Instead of chemical castration, the Indonesian government should consider penectomy to ensure effective deterrence against sexual predators.  ***1***

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