UN rights expert calls for global conversion therapy ban

Victor Madrigal-Borloz UN conversion therapy

The UN independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity (IESOGI) has called for a global ban on the traumatising practice of conversion therapy.

Victor Madrigal-Borloz will be presenting a Report on Conversion Therapy, which calls for countries around the world to recognise the practice’s “dehumanising” impact, to the UN Human Rights Council during Pride month.

The report lays out the different so-called “therapies” that are used around the world, including psychological, medical and faith-based “treatments” to change an individuals sexual orientation or gender identity.

It says: “Conversion therapy is a lucrative business for providers around the world.

“Marketing mechanisms operate to support the business model, and some States actively perpetrate or promote abuse through such practices.”

According to the report: “The IESOGI is convinced that the decision to subject a child to conversion practices can never truly be in conformity with a child’s best interests.

“Parents must make decisions for their children under the premise of informed consent, which entails knowing the practice’s true nature, its inability to actually achieve ‘conversion’, and the mounting evidence pointing towards its long-term physical and psychological harm.”

Conversion therapy has “the specific aim of interfering in their personal integrity and autonomy”, said Madrigal-Borloz, and therefore contradicts international human rights law.

The UN expert is now calling for a global ban on conversion therapy.

Madrigal-Borloz recommended that countries are punished for non-compliance with the proposed ban, and pushed states to ensure no public funds are used to support the practice.

He also suggested that governments implement awareness campaigns, showing the devastation caused by conversion therapy.

“Pathologization, demonization and criminalization of LGBT+ persons play a definitive role in perpetuating violence and discrimination,” he added on Twitter.

“Combatting biases and prejudices that enable the exposure of LGBT+ persons to practices of conversion requires joint action from States, the medical community, religious leaders and civil society.”