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Should Vietnam introduce chemical castration for child sex offenders?

According to the report of the Ministry of Public Security, in the first 6 months of 2018, there were 720 cases of child abuse, including 573 cases of child sexual abuse, accounting for 79.5% of the total number of child abuse cases. Thereby, the police force has verified, investigated and criminal hanled 538 cases with 579 subjects, administrative handling 55 cases and are are investigating 127 cases.

Statistics from the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) also show that each year, about 2,000 abused children are discovered in Vietnam, of which sexually abused children account for more than 60%. Violent acts and cases of child abuse is detected and dealt with only when the crime touches the criminal threshold, so the figures mentioned may be just the “tip of the iceberg”.

There are many opinions that electronic castration should be done with pedophile objects  due to the shuddering, shocking figures about child abuse cases.

Regarding the proposal of “chemical castration” for pedophiles crimes, lawyer Le Van Luan (Hanoi) said: “In terms of physiology, the “pedophilia” (ie, having sexual feelings towards children) like a kind of pathology that only needs an opportunity (environment, circumstances) to lead to the conduct of the behavior. If we want to prevent those behaviors, we must eliminate the desire with its physiological origin.”

“The issue of ensuring human rights is always limited to each individual; however, human rights must also be protected on the basis of no threat or harm from others. Therefore, chemical castration is also to ensure children’s rights of protection, inviolability of body, dignity, honor, life and health. Child sexual abuse crimes are a specific type of crime because the possibility of repeated recidivism cannot be controlled.”- said Lawyer Luan.

In the same view, Dr. Nguyen Huy Quang, Director of the Legal Department (Ministry of Health) said that those who suffer from pedophilia only have sexual orientation for children. Being subject to both physical and mental vulnerability, the introduction of chemical castration is necessary. “Pedophilia is a chronic form of disease that has a life span, very difficult to be treated completely, psychological therapy certainly does not change sexual instincts. So, in my opinion, it is necessary to use chemical castration, but be careful when doing so. “- Dr. Quang said.

Meanwhile, many conflicting opinions suggest that chemical castration is “the last step”, not the optimal solution.

Research on chemical castration has shown that there may be local health-dependent side effects. Dr. Khuat Thu Hong, Director of the Institute of Social Development Studies asked: “We only have the right to make them lose their desire; but if there are side effects such as cancer, incapacity …, who will be responsible for?”

Agreeing with that view, lawyer Lai Xuan Cuong (Hanoi City Youth Union) gave a deep analysis based on the legal basis:

“In Vietnam, this proposal is not appropriate and unnecessary. Because of this, the law now places this crime in chapter 2, parts of specific crimes. Its dangerous nature follows only the chapter on national security infringement. According to Article 142 of the Penal Code 2015, the highest penalty is life imprisonment or death penalty. “

Lawyer Cuong said that the purpose of the penalty is that after the offender completes the sentence, he will improve and integrate with the community.

Attaching monitoring chip after expiration will create inferiority complex, no longer have abiity to integrate, make them dissatisfied with society. More important, attaching chips must be synchronized with infrastructure facilities, there must be a mechanical and human part to monitor. In fact, our country cannot meet this demand