BANGKOK — The House Committee on anti-rape measures on Monday called for a law that would force convicted rapists to be punished by chemical castration.
The call for harsher punishment was made by Phalang Pracharat MPs Patcharin Sumsiripong and Karnkanit Heawsantati, who filed a petition to justice minister Somsak Thepsutin on behalf of the committee. They said they are pushing for the new law to promote public safety since the child abuse still an issue in Thai society.
“The issue of sexual abuse involving with students and teachers still persists over the past years,” Patcharin said. “Schoolgirls have faced many types of violence, from rape to molestation. This becomes a public concern and it has to be solved right away.”
Tanansak Borwornnuntakul, a criminology expert who works for the parliamentary committee, said sexual assaults can be prevented by “an eye for an eye” punishments such as chemical castration, jobs ban, and life imprisonment.
He also suggested a national sex offender registry to be set up as it has proven to be effective in many countries.
The lawmakers made the call after five teachers and two school alumni in Mukdahan province were charged for allegedly raping two students. All of the suspects denied the allegations and were released on bail.
In addition to severe penalties proposed by the MPs, measures such as witness protection programs and compensation funds should also be provided to the victims, Patcharin said.
“They should be protected physically and mentally,” Patcharin said. “Any presentation of photos or news that can lead to the identity of the victims should also be prevented because it is a disgrace and defamation for them.”
Chemical castration has been approved as a punishment to repeated sex offenders or pedophiles in many countries such as South Korea, Indonesia, and certain states of the US.