Chemical castration bill passed

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Chemical castration bill passed


Parents wait to take their children home from school yesterday in Gangnam District, Seoul, following a series of sex crimes against children. [YONHAP]

The National Assembly approved a bill yesterday allowing hormone treatment for convicted pedophiles in an unusually swift passage as pressure mounted on the government to take action against sexual assaults on minors.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Park Min-shik of the ruling Grand National Party, was passed 137 to 13 with 30 abstentions in a vote cast by 180 out of 291 incumbent lawmakers.

The bill was first introduced in 2008, but was stalled due to questions over the effectiveness and safety of the measure and the budget needed to enforce it.

It gained traction after a recent series of shocking attacks on young children who were kidnapped in broad daylight and raped.

The bill allows using hormonal chemicals on convicted sex offenders over 19 years of age who prey on minors under the age of 16 to prevent them from committing the same crime by controlling their sexual drive.

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