This decree will soon be sent to Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR) for approval. However, given the decree signed by Widodo is a presidential emergency decree it will have immediate effect (although the DPR can overturn it at a later stage).

President Widodo and Indonesian Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna H. Laoly stated that these tougher penalties open room for judges to give the most severe punishment to the child sex offenders. Moreover, tougher consequences for child sex abusers are expected to curtail sexual violence against children in the future. Widodo added that these crimes can be labelled brutal because they threaten and endanger the lives of innocent children.

Law and Human Rights Minister Laoly added that the harshest penalties provided by the new decree - such as the death penalty, chemical castration and the insertion of an electronic chip - will only be given to those child sex offenders (pedophiles), aged above 18, who have repeatedly committed such crimes.

In recent months, Indonesia has been shocked by the brutal gang-rape and murder of a 14-year schoolgirl in Bengkulu (Sumatra). When walking back home after school in early April 2016 she was dragged into a forest and gang-raped by 14 drunk males, most of whom younger than 18 (and therefore do not fall under the scope of the new decree). After the rape she was brutally murdered. This incident prompted a national debate on sexual violence against children in Indonesia (rather similar to the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year female medical student on a New Dehli bus in India in 2012).

Jakarta-based women's activist Kate Walton claims 44 women, including seven teenagers, have been murdered by men in Indonesia so far this year. Not unoften, women are raped prior to the kill.

The death penalty is a controversial issue. When Indonesia decided to go-ahead with the capital punishment for a dozen of foreign drug traffickers in 2015, it sparked international outrage. According to the Central Java Police Department, executions of 13 other convicted drug traffickers are being prepared and should be completed soon. Meanwhile, chemical castration is the use of chemicals to curtail the libido of a person. This punishment is also used in South Korea, Poland, some US states and the Czech Republic.

Do you agree with this presidential decree on child sex abusers?

Voting possible:  -


  • Yes, I do (36.6%)
  • No, I don't (31.7%)
  • I don't know (31.7%)

Total amount of votes: 82