Objections to chemical castration law in Thailand
Objections have been raised to a controversial new law being pushed through by the Thai Senate that allows sex offenders the choice of having their prison sentences reduced if they agree to chemical castration.
The Thai Senate approved the bill on Monday but the act hasn’t become law just yet.
The legislation was first passed in the Lower House in March and the Senate on June 11, but the draft will be next sent back to the House of Representatives to acknowledge amendments made by the Senate before being proposed for royal endorsement and coming into effect.
If the bill is passed, those regarded by authorities as most likely to reoffend again can receive injections. The most common drug used is leuprolide acetate, which is injected into the sex offender’s bloodstream to reduce sexual desire or testosterone levels.
The controversial policy has already been introduced in a number of countries around the world, including Russia, New Zealand, India, South Korea, Australia, and several US states.
In 2012, the Daily Mirror reported that about 100 of the UK’s most dangerous paedophiles had undergone chemical castration in exchange for a reduction in their sentences.
Criminal psychiatrist Professor Don Grubin, who ran the programme, said “We know the treatment works to reduce sexual arousal and fantasies.”
Lynn Saunders, governor of HMP Whatton, Nottinghamshire, UK, Europe’s largest sex offender rehabilitation centre, said last year that chemical castration is the only possible option for certain types of prisoner.
“We’re trying to stop the people we lock up from doing this again. That’s the key thing for me. The majority of them will get out and will possibly be living next door to you or me. That’s my bottom line. We need to make sure they are as safe as possible to live next door to you or me or your children.”
Thailand Corrections Department figures reveal there were 4,848 repeat sex offenders out of the 16,413 released from Thai prisons between 2013 and 2020.
Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin yesterday said he wanted the law “to pass quickly.”
“I don’t want to see news about bad things happening to women again.”
But there is opposition to the legislation from the Director of the Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation.
Jaded Chouwilai, whose company addresses sexual violence concerns, believes chemical castration would not stop sex crimes.
“Convicts should be rehabilitated by changing their mindset while in prison. To use punishment like execution or injected castration reinforces the idea that offenders can no longer be rehabilitated.”
The chemical castration process involves an injection every three months and costs about 100,000 baht per time.
SOURCE: Daily Mirror Daily Star Bangkok Post
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