Castration would reduce sex crimes: Saenuri reps
On late Wednesday evening, ruling party lawmaker Park In-sook proposed a bill allowing castration of sex offenders as a way of lessening sex crimes against minors and women. The punishment would apply to convicts that were likely to be repeat sex offenders and unlikely to be rehabilitated in other ways.
The bill would also allow the punishment for ex-convicts who were being monitored by the government.
Park is a former chairwoman of Korean Medical Women’s Association. Park’s bill was backed by 18 other representatives of the Saenuri Party.
Castration is supposed to diminish the offenders’ sex drive by removing testicles, which secrete male hormones.
Denmark, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Germany and two U.S. states, Texas and Louisiana, have castration in their laws, but the convict must give his consent.
Park said chemical castration, which is done in Korea, is inadequate.
“According to medical circles, chemical castration produces a stronger sex drive once a person stops receiving the treatment,” Park told reporters. “The punishment [physical castration] is a more effective one than the chemical one because it can control sex offenders more strongly.”
The government says it wants to broaden the use of chemical castration to convicts who assault people under 19 years old. The current law allows the punishment of convicts who sexually assaulted people under 16. Park said that isn’t a strong enough measure to prevent future sex crimes.
People in legal and medical circles and from civic groups said the punishment will violate human rights.
“It is very unethical,” said Kim Soo-woong, a urologist from Seoul National University Hospital told the JoongAng Ilbo. “It obviously removes male hormones, but it also makes a person infertile.”
“The country is trying to build another shiny human rights violation history with a ridiculous law,” professor Jin Jung-gwon, a prominent liberal critic of current affairs, said through Twitter.
A similar bill was proposed by former Saenuri lawmaker Shin Sang-jin in 2010 after an 8-year-old elementary school girl was snatched and raped by a 45-year-old temporary construction worker Kim Su-cheol. The child was hurt so severely that she required six hours of surgery. The bill wasn’t passed at the time due to opposition from human rights groups.
By Kim Min-sang [firstname.lastname@example.org]