Crimes Against Children on the Rise in Indonesia: KPAI

BY :FAROUK ARNAZ & EKO PRASETYO

MAY 03, 2016

Jakarta. The national child-protection watchdog said the number of crimes against children is showing a rising trend in 2016, following the alleged gang rape and murder of a 14-year-old junior high-school student in Bengkulu last month.

"The case is being handled; the local police chief has been involved directly. On April 2, the victim's family reported that she did not return from school and on April 6, the suspects were arrested," Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) chairman Asrorun Ni'am Sholeh said in Jakarta on Tuesday (03/05).

The alleged gang rape and murder, which police said was perpetrated by 14 young males, has increased calls for tougher child-protection regulations.

The incident follows several other recent high-profile cases of violence against women and girls, including the alleged murder and mutilation of a pregnant 34-year-old woman in Tangerang, Banten, last month and the alleged sexual assault and murder of 9-year-old Putri Nur Fauziah in West Jakarta in October.

According to Asrorun, the number of crimes against children had declined in 2014.

"However in 2016, the trend is rising. The president's direct instruction [to prevent crimes against children] has not been followed," he said.

Twelve of the 14 suspects in the Bengkulu gang rape and murder case have already been arrested, with the other two still on the loose. The 12 are aged between 14 and 23.

Asrorun said all forms of sexual assault are against the law, even when the perpetrators are still minors. However, underage criminals are treated differently from adults, as they are prosecuted in juvenile court.

A coalition of NGOs has also pressured the government to pass a bill to reform sentencing and to improve victims' services.

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