Chemical castration will wipe out paedophilia, says Indonesian president

Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo has defended his new chemical castration policy saying it could wipe out paedophilia. He said his country respected human rights but insisted there would be no compromise on punishing sex crimes. The president told the BBC: “We are strong and we will be very firm. We will hand out the maximum penalty for sexual crimes. In my opinion… chemical castration, if we enforce it consistently, will reduce sex crimes and wipe them out over time.”

Our constitution respects human rights, but when it comes to sexual crimes there is no compromise. We are strong and we will be very firm.

Joko Widodo

The emergency decree allowing chemical castration was introduced following an outcry over the gang-rape and killing of a schoolgirl in May. The laws, passed earlier this month, provoked fierce debate in the country’s parliament. But Mr Widodo remained defiant during a wide-ranging BBC interview in which he also defended the decision to ban members of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from applying for the new position of youth ambassador. He said: “We are the world’s largest Muslim nation and we have religious norms. You have to remember that and know that. We have social norms.”

How long can it last? Let’s say the patient has it for three years while in jail. But after his release he can go to a doctor and reverse it with hormone therapy. Chemical castration is not completely irreversible, so it is not effective.

Dr Prijo Sidipratomo, of the Indonesian Doctors Association, which refuses to sanction chemical castration