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Chemical castration for South Korean paedophiles

posted 28 Sept 2011, 06:25 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 28 Sept 2011, 06:30 ]
South Korea becomes the first Asian state to introduce chemical castration for convicted paedophiles. Lily Grimes reports.

SOUTH KOREA-CHEMICAL CASTRATION - Sex crimes against minors have risen by 80 percent in South Korea over the last four years. Playgrounds in many cities now have an emergency bell so children can alert the police to suspicious behaviour. In a bid to combat paedophilia the Justice Ministry has introduced chemical castration for convicted paedophiles. It's estimated a hundred convicts will be treated each year.

KIM YUNG-MOON, CHIEF PROSECUTOR OF PROTECTION LEGISLATION DIVISION AT SOUTH KOREA'S JUSTICE MINISTRY, SAYING:"It should be a sexual deviant who has victimised minors under 16. Children have a weak ability to defend themselves and once they're victimised, the damage will last their entire life. We must protect them."

Doctors say the drugs lower hormone levels reducing sex drive and compulsive sexual fantasies. The effects can last for 15 years.

But human rights campaigners argue enforcing the procedure violates basic human rights.

PRESS OFFICER OF NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION YOON SEOL-AH, SAYING:"This law is violating the right to protect our body or right to make our own decisions, but the effectiveness or the safety of the treatment is still not clear. It is right to delete this article, which is in violation of human rights, and revise the law."

The ministry says prison terms may be reduced if those convicted accept chemical castration.

Lily Grimes, Reuters