So-called “conversion therapy” is still widespread in China, research finds

Homosexuality is not officially regarded as an illness in China, having been removed from the Chinese Society of Psychiatry’s list of mental disorders in 2001, and neither is it a crime.

However, a new report from Human Rights Watch, an Out Leadership partner organization, confirms that it’s still quite common for public and private health providers in China to offer so-called “conversion therapy,” in an effort to change people’s sexual orientation. And the Chinese government has not taken the action necessary to prevent health providers from offering conversion therapy, despite the fact that it is illegal and negatively impacts people who receive it.

The HRW report is based on interviews with 17 people in China who were subjected to conversion therapy, all of whom confirm that they would not have done so had they not been subject to family and social pressure, and includes a series of specific recommendations for Chinese authorities to consider to prevent these abusive practices.

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