Ban ‘conversion therapy’, human rights lawyers urge UK government

Ban ‘conversion therapy’, human rights lawyers urge UK government
The Cooper Report is urging the government to bring forward legislation to end to conversion therapy in the UK

Legal professionals, campaigners and experts have called on the government to take decisive action in criminalising conversion therapy in the Storbritannia, saying the practices “deny human dignity and demean victims.”

The Cooper Report, published on Friday, urges the UK government to bring forward legislation to bring an end to conversion practices, promised as part of the Queen’s Speech in May this year.

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Chair of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, proposes it be made clear in law to would-be perpetrators that their “vile practices will not be tolerated in civilised society.”“I was pleased to hear Her Majesty the Queen finally announce in May that the British Myndighetene would bring forward long awaited legislation to ban the abhorrent practice of “conversion therapy”, more properly termed conversion practices. These are best understood as any practices that seek to suppress, “cure” or change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, hun sa.

“These degrading and inhumane practices are an affront to the human rights of lesbian, homofil, bifil, transgender and intersex people and must be criminalised in all their forms.

“Together we urge the government to implement their promised legislation without delay, ensuring that there are no loopholes – too many lives have already been impacted by this horrific abuse and countless more are still at risk.”

Recommendations include detailing a non-exhaustive list of offences, including exorcisms, corrective rape, forced marriage and pseudo-scientific counselling sessions.

The report also states that it is important that any ban on conversion practices does not impede the free exploration of gender identity and sexual orientation, with particular attention on making sure it does not negatively impact transgender individuals’ access to healthcare provisions and affirmative care.

No exemptions for consenting adults is also advised, saying the “imbalance of power involved means that such “consent” cannot be truly free or autonomously exercised.”

For similar reasons, the signatories have also suggested limited restrictions be placed on on the right to manifest religion, belief and their expression.

Snakker til Den uavhengige i mai, Jayne Ozanne, a former government LGBT+ adviser, who quit over delays to plans earlier this year, sa: “The government is creating a highly dangerous loophole by focusing purely on ‘coercive’ practices.

“Most LGBT people in religious settings feel it is their duty to submit to those in authority and will therefore willingly follow their leaders’ ‘advice’, even if it causes them great harm. The government needs to do what the UN has called for — a full ban on conversion practices.”

Despite first pledging to stamp out the discredited practice in Britain three years ago — first under Theresa May’s administration — documents published in May also said that ministers will “launch a consultation before details of the ban are finalised to hear from a wide range of voices on how best to protect people from conversion therapy.”

Ms Ozanne said: “We don’t need yet more delay, they have consulted long enough. We now need action before more lives are lost.”

According to the most recent survey from Stonewall into Gender Identity Conversion Therapy (GICT), almost half of respondents were children when they began therapy, and three quarters were under the age of 24.

The research also found gender diverse people who had undergone GICT were more likely to report severe mental health problems than those who had not, with marked increases in suicide attempts and suicidal ideation.

“These findings provide a wake-up call to government, therapeutic regulatory bodies and religious organisations for the need to eradicate all gender identity conversion practices. It is clear that immediate and robust actions are needed, so as to provide the protection and support to which gender diverse people are entitled,” the report reads.

Richard Matousek, the report’s Independent Research Monitor, sa: It’s a practice that goes under the radar for most of us, even though – as this research clearly shows – it too-often causes long-term or permanent harm to its sufferers.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought home the fragility of public health (both physical and mental), with evidence showing these effects to be particularly prevalent among LGBT+ mennesker. In order to promote and protect public health, a ban specifically on gender identity conversion therapy ought to be included in any ban on “conversion therapy” against LGBT+ people.”

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