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Indonesia: Regulation on Sexual Violence Against Children Issued

(May 27, 2016) On May 25, 2016, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo issued a regulation in lieu of law (called a perppu in Indonesian) on sexual violence against children; the plan to issue the regulation had been announced about two weeks earlier. (Ayomi Amindoni, Govt Issues Perppu on Sexual Violence Against Children, JAKARTA POST (May 25, 2016); Constance Johnson, Indonesia: Harsher Punishment for Sex Crimes Considered, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR (May 16, 2016).)

The new regulation, Perppu No.1/2016, amends the 2002 Child Protection Law. (Amindoni, supra; Undang-Undang Republik Indonesia Nomor 23 Tahun 2002 Tentang Perlindungan Anak, House of Representatives website; Indonesia: Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 23 of 2002 on Child Protection (Oct. 22, 2002), available at REFWORLD (unofficial translation).) The Law was previously amended not that long ago, in 2014. (Undang-Undang Republik Indonesia Nomor 35 Tahun 2014 Tentang Perubahan Atas Undang-Undang Nomor 23 Tahun 2002 Tentang Perlindungan Anak (Oct. 17, 2014), available at NATLEX; for a description of the amendments in English, see Indonesia: Law No. 35 of 2014 Amending Law on Child Protection (No. 23/2002), NATLEX (last visited May 26, 2016).)

As had been announced in the plan, the new regulation sets the maximum sentence upon conviction for sexual violence against children at 20 years of imprisonment, plus, on a case by case basis, the convict may be subject to chemical castration and/or implantation of microchips that track his location. The names of individuals convicted of sexual abuse will be made public. Widodo indicated that he hoped the increased punishment would “provide room for judges to hand down tougher sentences with deterrent effects to reduce sex crimes, especially against children.” (Amindoni, supra.)

Indonesia’s legislature is still planning to consider a broader law on sexual violence, according to Totok Daryanto, a member of the House of Representatives from Yogyakarta. Presumably that new legislation would cover adult as well as child victims. (Erika Anindita Dewi, New Perppu Will Not Overlap with Sexual Violence Bill: Lawmaker, JAKARTA POST (May 25, 2016).) Daryanto added that the draft law is expected to be discussed in committee during the current legislative session, which will run until July 28. (Id.)