The U.N. Human Rights Council on Wednesday held a virtual panel on the call for a global conversion therapy ban.
The event was comprised of several advocates and experts on the topic, including Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the independent U.N. expert on LGBTQ issues, and Xeenarh Mohammed, the executive director of the Initiative for Equal Rights in Nigeria. Speakers discussed the reasons why they feel conversion therapy should be deemed a violation of human rights, the damages caused by the practice and common tactics employed by those who carry it out.
OutRight Action International, ILGA World, the Swedish Federation for LGBTQI Rights and the Global Action for Trans Equality were among the organizations present.
German Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth also made a statement condemning conversion therapy.
Germany in May banned conversion therapy for minors, being the fifth country to do so.
“LGBTI people don’t need therapy. They deserve respect, solidarity and consideration, and this is our responsibility as governments,” Roth said. “Governments have an obligation to respect, protect and promote the human rights of all individuals. LGBTI rights are not nice to have — they are an essential part of human rights.”
Brazil, Ecuador, Malta and Taiwan have also banned the widely condemned practice. Maryland and D.C. are among the U.S. jurisdictions that ban conversion therapy for minors.
A new law that prohibits conversion therapy for minors in Virginia took effect on July 1.
This article originally appeared in the Washington Blade and is made available in partnership with the National LGBT Media Association.