Sex offenders in Thailand may soon be able to accept chemical castration in return for serving less prison time. The idea behind this bill is that a lower testosterone level could decrease the chance of the perpetrator carrying out further sex offences.
The bill was approved by the country’s lower house and passed in March 2021 but it still needs another house vote followed by royal endorsement in order to be valid. When it comes to sex offenders undergoing the procedure, the approval of two doctors would be needed while perpetrators would be monitored for ten years, along with still being required to wear an electronic monitor.
“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,” he added.
However, Jaded Chouwilai, director of the Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation, a non-governmental organisation that addresses sexual violence, claims that chemical castration wouldn’t 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 the offender can no longer be rehabilitated.”
This proposed solution comes only two months after Australian politician Pauline Hanson made headlines for her calls for tougher acts of corporal punishment against people convicted of sex offences—believing that those specifically guilty of sex crimes against children (paedophiles) should be chemically castrated.
“People are very concerned about their children’s safety and they want strong laws and penalties for those convicted of paedophilia,” Hanson said at the time during an exclusive interview with Daily Mail Australia.
“I support chemical castration and tougher penalties for paedophiles, and the establishment of a national database of paedophiles,” she continued. “For sex offences not involving children, I consider it appropriate for the presiding magistrate or judge to determine the appropriate penalty under the relevant law.”
But things aren’t as ‘simple’ as some may think. As stated by Healthline, “chemical castration is not a one-time treatment. Your doctor administers the drugs by injection or implants them under your skin. Depending on the drug and the dose, this must be repeated as often as once a month or as seldom as once a year.”
Furthermore, according to a 2013 research review, side effects and complications may increase the longer an individual is in treatment. Guess it really all comes down to how much a country’s government cares about the fate of sexual offenders…