Conversion Therapy Practices Against Transgender Persons in India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka

The Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN), together with its country partners, embarked on an ambitious and much-needed research project to study the various forms of conversion therapy practices being implemented against transgender (trans) and gender diverse people in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka. This evidence-generating project aimed to explore how trans and gender diverse people in these countries have been subjected to conversion therapy practices by documenting their personal narratives and lived experiences. Further, it sought to investigate how the existing national legal, policy, and programmatic frameworks create an environment in which these harmful practices can thrive. The study also aimed to explore how religion and socio-cultural values fuel or promote interventions aimed at changing an individual’s gender identity and expression, and/or sexual orientation, and how these interventions manifest in familial or communal spaces. The evidence presented in this research initiative is informed by data and insights collected through interviews with members of trans communities, health professionals, legal and policy experts, academic and religious scholars, and activists.

These country snapshots feature a summary of the key findings of the research and offer a preliminary reflection on the driving factors and actors behind conversion therapy practices in each of the four countries. They also present recommendations for relevant legal, policy, and programmatic change to address conversion therapy practices and provide protection to trans and gender diverse individuals against these harmful interventions. 

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