Indonesian President Joko Widodo will approve a new law that authorises chemical castration of pedophiles, local media reported.

Punishments including "hormone injections that reduce libido levels" are recommended in the new regulation which sees pedophilia as "an extraordinary crime."

"The president has agreed to include imposing chemical castration in the regulation in lieu of law which also stipulates sexual abuse against children as an extraordinary crime," a statement on the Cabinet Secretary website said, according to Jakarta Globe.

The tough move comes on the back of a series of revolting child sex abuse cases in recent years involving serial pedophiles.

There were as many as 16,000 reported cases of violence against children since 2012, and half of these were sexual abuse cases.

According to the National Commission for Child Protection (Komnas PA), there were 3,726 sexual crimes against children in 2015, which was higher than the 3,326 cases reported in the previous year.

Rights activists have condemned the move saying castration of offenders does not address the root cause of the crime.

There are better ways to ensure children's safety from sexual predators such as better monitoring and witness protection, Supriyadi Eddyono of the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform said.

However, on the other side of the spectrum, child rights activists demand capital punishment for pedophiles.

Chemical castration has been approved in some of US states and in countries including South Korea, Moldova, Russia and Estonia, the report said.