Chemical castration may be offered to Thailand sex offenders in exchange for less prison time

Source: globalnews.ca : 2022-07-13 16:40:58 : Sarah Do Couto

In a controversial decision, sexual offenders in Thailand may soon be able to opt for chemical castration in exchange for reduced prison sentences.

Within the new bill (which was approved by the Thai Senate on Monday), chemical castration will be offered to repeat sexual offenders in an effort to reduce testosterone levels and overall sex drive.

The hope is that this process will prevent individuals who have committed sexual crimes from reoffending.

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A convicted person would have to give consent and be evaluated by a psychiatric specialist and an internal medicine specialist in order to be chemically castrated.

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According to Reuters, the bill is currently waiting to be reaffirmed in the Thai legislature’s lower house, then it will require royal endorsement. Afterward, it will officially become law once published in the Royal Gazette, the country’s public journal.

It is unclear when exactly the bill is expected to be made law, but officials are looking for a speedy implementation.

“I want this law to pass quickly,” Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin said. “I don’t want to see news about bad things happening to women again.”

According to a 2013 study by Thailand’s Public Health Ministry, one person was raped every 15 minutes in the country. There were 31,866 reported rape cases in 2013 alone.

Of all convicted sex offenders released from Thai prisons between 2013 and 2020, nearly 30 per cent reoffended, according to corrections department figures.

According to the bill, anti-libidinal medication would be prescribed to those who have consented to chemical castration. The offender would be required to wear an electronic bracelet and would be monitored for 10 years.

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Thailand will not the first country to offer chemical castration to sexual offenders. Several countries including Poland, South Korea, Russia, Estonia, Australia, the U.K. and some U.S. states already employ the practice.

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In Canada, courts can’t order offenders to undergo chemical castration; they can only impose psychiatric treatment, which can include the use of anti-libido medication, experts said. Chemical castration can, however, be made a condition for parole but it cannot be imposed once the sentence has been completed.

Jaded Chouwilai, director of the Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation, a non-governmental organization that addresses sexual violence, among other areas, said use of chemical castration would not tackle sex crime.

“Convicts should be rehabilitated by changing their mindset while in prison,” he said. “To use punishment like execution or injected castration reinforces the idea that offender can no longer be rehabilitated.”

— With files from Reuters and The Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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