The Thai Senate approved a bill on Monday that would allow repeat offender sex offenders to choose chemical castration in exchange for a shorter sentence.
The bill, which was first passed by the House of Representatives in February, was approved by the Senate with two abstentions, but has not yet been passed.
Drafts will be returned to the House of Representatives before being submitted for royal approval, Bangkok Post report.
Under the bill, sex offenders who are considered at risk of recidivism can receive injections of drugs that lower testosterone levels in exchange for shorter imprisonment. However, approval from at least two doctors is required.
Justice Minister Somsak Tepsin said on Tuesday, “I want to pass this law quickly.” “I don’t want to see the news that bad things are happening to women again.”
Chemical castration requires injections every three months and costs approximately 100,000 baht ($ 2,757) per treatment. Sex offenders who agree to the process are monitored for 10 years and must wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.
The government estimates that 4,848 of the 16,413 convicted sex offenders released from Thai prisons between 2013 and 2020 have re-offended.
However, some argued that chemical castration did not help reduce sex crimes in Thailand. Senator Triroy Kurtvecho, a doctor and member of the House of Representatives, said there was no evidence that chemical castration could effectively reduce criminals’ sexual urges.
Jaded Chouwilai, director of the Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation, a non-governmental organization that tackles sexual violence, said the use of chemical castration does not address sexual crimes.
“Prisoners should be rehabilitated by changing their mindset while in prison,” Chouwilai said. “The use of punishments such as the death penalty and infusion of castration reinforces the idea that criminals can no longer be rehabilitated.”
Nine states in Poland, South Korea, Russia, Estonia, and the United States are one of the countries that use chemical castration on sex offenders.
In 2020, Indonesia mandated chemical castration of child rapists as a way to prevent sexual violence against children. However, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused it of “cruel and degrading corporal punishment.”
“The Indonesian government has an obligation to protect children from sexual predators, but those efforts should not include abusive measures that violate international human rights law,” HRW said. statement.
Reuters contributed to this report.