Experts call for strategy shift in combating pedophilia

It is crucial for all parties to ensure that perpetrators are prevented from accessing children who could potentially become victims.

29 Apr 2024 05:16pm
Photo for illustration purposes only. - 123RF
Photo for illustration purposes only. - 123RF

SHAH ALAM - The strategy to combat the crime of pedophilia needs to be changed, not merely by tightening the law and punishing the perpetrators.

Crime analyst Kamal Affandi Hashim said all parties needed to ensure that perpetrators of pedophilia cases were blocked from having access to children who might become victims.

He stressed the significance of highlighting efforts to raise public awareness about the crime.

"In terms of policy, the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry and Education Ministry already have special measures, by making it mandatory to check a person's background if they want to be employed.

"So, in this way, any employer can also write to the ministries to inquire if the person applying for a job with them is under restrictions, such that they are not allowed to be in close proximity to children," he told Sinar.

Pedophilia is a major concern, especially among parents due to the increasing number of cases.

In previous reports, the crime was caused by access to pornographic materials that were easily available on the internet.

Among the methods used by the United Kingdom (UK) and Germany was to have sophisticated detection systems that would allow them to arrest someone who was browsing or downloading images of children from the internet.

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Scandinavian countries also used the chemical method of punishment with offenders injected with certain chemicals to reduce their sexual desire for a certain period under the supervision of qualified experts.

The method has yielded results with the rate of sexual crimes against children decreasing.

Besides Indonesia, the United States (US) also passed similar laws in several states such as Alabama, California, Florida and Texas.

Alabama approved a suspended sentence as a condition of parole for offenders who committed sexual offences against children under the age of 13.

They were injected with certain chemicals before leaving prison.

Meanwhile, criminologist Datuk Shahul Hamid Abd Rahim said there was no need to implement chemical insemination methods in Malaysia because the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 (Act 792), the Penal Code and the Child Act 2001 were sufficient.

He added that prison sentences and whippings were enough to teach the offenders a lesson, but victims needed to cooperate by reporting detailed complaints.

"We have to review the punishment under the law and if it is not enough we have to amend it so that offenders are more afraid.

"The Offender Database also needs to be updated so that the community is more aware of the existence of such groups.

"Undoubtedly, the level of awareness about sexual harassment is still low. Therefore, parents and schools have to play a role by being concerned about the changes or behavior of their children," Shahrul said.

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