Indonesia’s parliament has approved a new criminal code that bans sex outside marriage—an act for which people can be jailed.

Under the law, unmarried couples caught having sex can be jailed for up to a year. They are also banned from live-in relationships, with perpetrators facing jail time of up to six months. Adultery will also be an offense for which people can be jailed.

The new code will apply to locals as well as foreigners with critics calling the law a “disaster” for human rights.


However, the code will not come into effect for three years to allow for implementing regulations to be drafted. Currently, Indonesia bans adultery but not premarital sex.

A 28-year-old Muslim woman said that she is now at risk for living with her partner for the past five years, reports BBC.

According to international media, researcher Andreas Harsano, said there were millions of couples in Indonesia without marriage certificates, “especially among Indigenous peoples or Muslims in rural areas” who had married in specific religious ceremonies.

It is pertinent to mention that these changes have come after a rise in religious conservatism in the Muslim-majority country.

Several protests have also been carried out after the passing of this law. However, it’s expected that the new law will be challenged in court.