'Conversion therapy' report
‘Conversion therapy’ is a term describing pseudo-scientific and harmful practices used to attempt altering a person’s gender expression, gender identity or sexual orientation.
In 2020, ILGA World has released a ground-breaking report on the issue: Curbing Deception is an extensive global research into laws banning ‘conversion therapies’ both at the national and subnational level. The report explores the vast field of techniques used for the purpose of attempting to alter lesbians, gays and bisexuals’ sexual orientation, to prevent trans youth from transitioning or make trans people de-transition, or to force our gender expressions and roles to align with the social binary stereotypes of masculinity and femininity. It also analyses strategies beyond legal reform to restrict these harmful practices worldwide.
Experimentation and abuse have long taken place under the legitimising cloak of medicine, psychology and science. As the report details, gruesome practices – including electroshock ‘therapies’, forced internments in ‘clinics’ and exorcisms – are still applied in numerous countries, pushing people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions to living self-loathing lives, up to the extreme consequences of committing suicide.
Protection from similar ineffective and cruel treatment is as urgent as ever: our report also exposes how - thanks to the tireless advocacy of activists, survivors and grassroots organisations – States, health professionals and international human rights bodies across the world are speaking up against so-called ‘conversion therapies’.