We will handle it in an extraordinary way."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Politicians and child protection activists have lauded the issuance of Government Regulation No. 1 of 2016, which is the second amendment to Law No. 23 of 2002 on Child Protection, giving judges enough room to impose heavier punishment upon those guilty of raping and murdering children.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) signed the government regulation (Perppu) on May 25, 2016.

"This Perppu is aimed at dealing with an emergency situation as the number of cases of sexual violence against children were on the rise," Jokowi said.

He explained that the decree will regulate the enhanced sentence and additional sentences for such perpetrators.

"These crimes have undermined the development of children, and have disturbed our sense of peace, security and public order," he pointed out, adding, "We will handle it in an extraordinary way."

The increased sentence includes an additional one third of a sentence for criminal charges, death penalty, or life imprisonment, or a jail sentence, with a minimum punishment of 10 years and a maximum of 20 years.

As for additional sentences, they will include revealing the identities of perpetrators, the imposition of castration by chemical method and installation of an electronic tracking device.

The Peoples Consultative Assembly (MPR) Deputy Chairman, Hidayat Nur Wahid, lauded the governments policy, and particularly praised the move to enhance punishment against those committing violence against children.

"The nation is in a state of emergency due to an increase in sexual violence against children, so punishment should be awarded to act as deterrent," Wahid, a senior politician of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), emphasized on May 27.

The public also demanded meting out the most stringent punishments to such serious offenders since cases of sexual violence against children were becoming rampant, he pointed out.

The public should also lend moral support to the prosecutors and judges to impose severe punishment on these offenders, he emphasized.

Support was also voiced by House Speaker Ade Komarudin, who said "the Perppu is worth supporting."

The Chairman of the National Commission for Child Protection (Komnas PA), Arist Merdeka Sirait, highly appreciated the signing of the new decree.

The new regulation is a big gift for all Indonesian children, he said on May 26.

"I am very happy, and of course, the Indonesian children are the happiest," he stated.

The regulation has been awaited since 2013, he said.

"Since 2013, Komnas PA has warned that Indonesia is facing an emergency situation when it comes to sexual crimes and the condition is very critical. We have campaigned that the country must declare that child abuse is an extraordinary crime," he noted.

Chairperson of the Association of Indonesian Parenting Experts and Practitioners (Iparent) Sudibyo Alimoeso was pleased with the new regulation, saying that he has so far been very concerned over sexual violence against children.

"Since sexual violence cases in this country have been very worrying, hence it should be dealt with comprehensively in order," he said.

He was particularly concerned about the fact that several perpetrators of violence against children were themselves under-aged as well.

Sexual assaults are like a virus that must be stopped from spreding elsewhere, he affirmed.

Sexologist Dr Boyke Dian Nugraha, however, reminded that castration alone would not stop child predators and rapists in general from committing sexual crimes because the problem is with their mindset.

He believed that sadistic criminals be treated like terrorists and major illicit drug traffickers, some of whom have to face capital penalty in Indonesia.

Horrific and brutal rape-cum-murders have been reported from across the country lately, with victims as young as two and a half year.

Baby Laela was raped twice and later killed by Budiansyah (26) when she had come to his house to play with his niece in Girimulya village, Bogor, West Java, recently. The murderer later dumped the infants body in the backyard of his house.

Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa was in tears while visiting Laelas family to express her sympathy and condolences. She was just a baby, the minister mumbled.

The public was also shocked following a case of pedophilia in which 60-year-old businessman Soni Sandra had sexually abused 58 under-aged girls in Kediri, East Java Province.

In the court, it was revealed that the defendant had drugged the children to make them dizzy, their faces becoming red, before sexually assaulting them.

According to data from the National Commission on Violence Against Women, some 35 Indonesian women suffer sexual violence daily.

Many Indonesian netizens urged the law enforcers to impose death penalty on rapist-cum-killers, seen as sadistic monsters who could threaten the lives of other children if they remained at large.

Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa has identified pornography as the most serious factor causing depraved minds to commit sexual assaults.

"It is followed by alcohol and drugs," the minister noted.

Sexual assaults, encouraged by pornography, are one of main topics currently being discussed by the presidential advisory team, she revealed.

The team discussed the issue as the incidents of sexual violence have increased to an alarming level in the country, particularly since such crimes were usually committed by a group of people, the minister noted.

Buttressing her point recently, she had said, "Yesterday afternoon, I read (news on sexual assault) in Situbondo, and this morning in Pemalang."

She affirmed that after she interviewed certain juvenile culprits, who had committed crimes recently, she had reached the conclusion that pornography was the dominant factor, among other things.

"Some 65 to 75 percent (of them) admitted to have accessed pornography," she stated.

The minister saw the problem as alarming despite the fact that the communication and informatics ministry had blocked some 750 thousand pornographic websites.

Therefore, Minister Khofifah suggested that an effective measure to preempt such a phenomenon was to raise awareness among the younger generation about the advantages and disadvantages of information technology.

"Children must be made aware that the Internet could make one smart, but it could also be detrimental," she added.

Reporter: Fardah
Editor: Priyambodo RH
Copyright © ANTARA 2016