A new law will see convicted sex offenders chemically castrated in Indonesia.
The law was passed by President Joko Widodo following public uproar over the vicious rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Kasie Kasubun village in Bengkulu province, Sumatra.
The child, Yuyun, was walking home to her village after class wearing her school uniform on April 2 when she was allegedly dragged into a forest, gang raped and killed by 14 men and boys who had been drinking nearby. Her naked body, which had been tied up, was discovered dumped on a rubber plantation three days later.
Seven teenagers were each sentenced to ten years in prison for their part in the heinous crime. According to reports, Yuyun’s attackers included her ex-boyfriend and two male students who attended the same school as her.
Disgusted by the short sentences and startling lack of media attention the murder received, a group of female activists in Jakarta pledged to get justice for Yuyun and simultaneously seek major legal reforms in Indonesia, where at least 44 women have been murdered by men this year, seven of them teenagers.
Helped by a local singer who took up the cause, the hashtag #NyalaUntukYuyun (Light a Candle for Yuyun) began to trend and soon many of Indonesia’s most famous names added their voices to the call.
This week President Widodo fast-tracked a draft bill, heralding a host of new penalties for child sex offenders, including the death penalty or life imprisonment.
Hari ini Perppu perlindungan anak ditandatangani. Penanganan kejahatan seksual pd anak harus dg cara luar biasa -Jkw pic.twitter.com/MlZaNsWIBU
— Joko Widodo (@jokowi) May 25, 2016
Convicted child sex offenders can also be forced to be chemically castrated and police will now have the power to demand an offender wears an implanted tracking chip so authorities can trace their movements.
‘An emergency of sexual abuse’
The new penalties will also apply to child sex tourists, many of whom travel from Australia to abuse children in paedophile blackspots such as Bali.
Commenting on the new law, President Widodo said he had signed the decree to address “an emergency of sexual abuse”.
“We hope that this law will be a deterrent for offenders and can suppress sexual crimes against children,” he noted on Twitter.