Thailand could use voluntary chemical castration in exchange for shorter jail time for sex offenders

If the bill is passed, Thailand will become the second country in Southeast Asia to use chemical castration for sex offenders.

Matthias Ang | July 13, 2022, 05:58 PM

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Thailand is edging towards the introduction of voluntary chemical castration for sex offenders, the Bangkok Post reported.

On Jul. 12, Tuesday, Thailand's Senate unanimously approved a bill which gives some sex offenders the right to choose such a procedure in return for a reduced jail sentence.

Offender must consent to his castration and have the approval of two doctors

According to Reuterssome offenders who are deemed at risk of re-offending will be provided with the option of receiving injections that reduce their testosterone level in return for a shorter prison time if they have approval from two doctors.

Thai PBS World further reported that this treatment could also be offered to offenders who have already served their sentences or are currently in rehabilitation, to curb repeat offences.

The bill also stipulates that offenders who receive this treatment will be monitored for 10 years and must wear electronic monitoring bracelets.

Another house vote, as well as a royal endorsement, are required before the bill becomes law, reported Reuters.

Thai authorities: Nearly 30 per cent of sex offenders released between 2013 and 2020 re-offended

Reuters further reported that from 2013 to 2020, nearly 30 per cent, or 4,848 of the 16,413 convicted sex offenders, who were released from prison re-offended.

The report cited figures from Thai authorities.

Thailand's Justice Minister, Somsak Thepsuthin, said, "I want this law to pass quickly. I don't want to see news about bad things happening to women again."

However, Jaded Chouwilai, director of the Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation, a non-governmental organisation that addresses sexual violence, noted that the rehabilitation of sex offenders should be carried out by a change in mindset.

A punishment like chemical castration "reinforces the idea that [the] offender can no longer be rehabilitated," he said.

Should the bill become a law, Thailand will be the second country in Southeast Asia to use chemical castration on sex offenders.

In 2016, the Indonesian parliament passed a law authorising chemical castration for child rapists for a maximum period of two years.

The law also requires the offender to be publicly named and the attachment of an electronic tracking device.

In Jan. 2021, Indonesian President Joko Widodo signed off on a government regulation that provides guidelines on the punishment mechanisms.

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