"The maximum jail sentence for child predators in Indonesia is only 15 years. This is too light, they are supposed to get heavier sentence even death penalty," the minister asserted after an official visit to the Peduli Anak Yatim orphanage in Palembang city.
In early April, a six-year-old boy at a kindergarten in Jakarta International School (JIS) reportedly contracted herpes following alleged sexual assault by outsourced cleaners in the JIS bathroom. Two cleaners had been named suspects and detained at the Jakarta Police headquarters. The police are still investigating the case including the possibility of revealing more victims.
Another sodomy case that caught the public eye was an elementary school student in Pekanbaru city, Riau province, who reportedly confessed to have been sexually assaulted on several occasions by his neighbor who is a junior high school student.
Earlier, Indonesias National Commission for the Protection of Children (Komnas PA) had urged the authorities to impose heavier punishment against child abusers, particularly those involved in sexual assault.
"Komnas PA will recommend to the Parliaments Commission III to amend the Law No. 23/2002 on Child Protection to impose heavier punishment against the perpetrators," noted Arist Merdeka Sirait, the Komnas PA chairman.
He pointed out that the existing law imposing a sentence of 15 years imprisonment was too lenient.
The sentence against those who commit child sexual violence should be 20 years imprisonment and a maximum of life sentence.
Heavier punishment should be given to the parents, teachers, and those working in schools if they commit sexual abuse, he reiterated.
(Reporting by Ujang Idrus/translating and editing by Amie Fenia Arimbi/INE/KR-BSR/A014)