China: End Conversion Therapy in Medical Settings

China: End Conversion Therapy in Medical Settings

(Hong Kong) – The Chinese government should take immediate steps to stop public hospitals and private clinics from offering conversion therapy, Human Rights Watch said in a new report today.

The 52-page report, “‘Have You Considered Your Parents’ Happiness?’: Conversion Therapy Against LGBT People in China,” based on interviews with 17 people who endured conversion therapy, describes how parents threatened, coerced, and sometimes physically forced their adult and adolescent children to submit to conversion therapy.

In these facilities – including both public hospitals, which are government-run and monitored, and private clinics, which are licensed and supervised by the National Health and Family Planning Commission – medical professionals subjected them to “therapy” that in some cases entailed involuntary confinement, forcible medication, and electroshocks, which can constitute a form of torture.

However, Chinese authorities have not taken proactive measures to stop healthcare facilities or practitioners from offering conversion therapy, such as issuing clear guidelines prohibiting conversion therapy; monitoring facilities to determine whether conversion therapy is taking place; and, where it is, holding such facilities accountable.

While the Chinese Psychological Society has issued professional guidelines that prohibit discrimination due to sexual orientation during psychology counseling practice, professional associations have not prevented medical practitioners from conducting conversion therapy.

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