Sex offenders and paedophiles will be chemically castrated in Thailand to reduce a surge in reoffending rates.
Criminals who are considered likely to commit more sex attacks after their release will be given the option of the injection, which lowers testosterone levels, in return for a reduced prison sentence.
The procedure will need to be approved by two doctors and offenders will have to be monitored for 10 years and forced to wear an electronic tag.
The bill, which the lower house passed in March, was approved late on Monday by 145 senators, with two abstentions.
It still requires another house vote, then royal endorsement.
Of 16,413 convicted sex offenders released from Thai prisons between 2013 and 2020, there were 4,848 who re-offended, according to corrections department figures.
If approved, Thailand would join a small group of countries that use chemical castration, among them Poland, South Korea, Russia and Estonia, plus some US states.
‘I want this law to pass quickly,’ Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin said on Tuesday. ‘I don’t want to see news about bad things happening to women again,’ he said.
Jaded Chouwilai, director of the Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation, a non-governmental organisation 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.’
Last year, Pakistan announced that rapists convicted of repeat offences would face castration.
Similarly, in Kazakhstan last August paedophiles told of their anguish after undergoing forced castration.
Men guilty of child sex offences in Kazakhstan face chemical castration as part of the country’s tough new laws against paedophilia.
A group of offenders were interviewed on state TV speaking of their ordeal as part of a media campaign by the authorities to warn would-be male sex attackers.
The chemical castration is carried out by regular injections and will continue after their jail sentences end.
One paedophile said on TV: “I know it’s harmful to my body. I know it will affect my health in future.”
Another said: “Now I am sorry I committed such a crime.”
One convict pleaded: “By my example, I want to show men they should not commit such terrible offences.
“I beg those who prescribed me chemical castration – cancel your decision. I am still very young.”
A prisoner named Marat, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence for the attempted rape of a child, told how he had had three castration injections so far and it has stopped him from getting erections.
He said: “Everything is really bad in terms of my man’s health.
“I need a sexual life yet nothing works down there. Why castrate me? I admit I’m guilty. But I want to live further. I still have my family and children.”
Photo Credit: Getty