New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has issued a notice to National Medical Commission (NMC) seeking action against illegal trainings on conversion therapy for the LGBTQIA+ community being advertised under the banner of ‘World Congress of Psychologists’
According to the DCW, it has taken suo moto cognizance of an advertisement circulating on social media claiming that an organisation called the ‘World Congress of Psychologists’ with its head office in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, is conducting a three-month training program on psychosomatic disorders which started on March 10.
“The organisation appears to have offered training on tackling 47 different disorders, and has included homosexuality, lesbianism and transvestism in the advertisement,” said DCW in a statement issued on Saturday.
DCW chief Swati Maliwal issued the notice to the NMC Chairman and has sought a copy of the enquiry report in the matter.
The DCW has asked whether the program is being conducted or was conducted in the past and if so, details of action taken against the organisation, its office bearers and trainers as well as whether their licenses have been revoked.
It has also asked for a copy of the guidelines/advisories issued by NMC banning conversion therapy of LGBTQIA+ persons.
“It is an established fact that homosexuality, lesbianism and transvestism are not ‘psychosomatic disorders’. Over 50 years ago, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) issued a resolution stating that homosexuality is not a mental illness or sickness. Conversion therapies are a set of pseudo-scientific practices, targeting the LGBTIQA+ people into changing their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.”
“In a judgment passed by the Madras High Court in 2021, directed th e National Medical Commission, Indian Psychiatric Society and The Rehabilitation Council of India to take action against the concerned professional involving themselves in any form or method of conversion “therapy” including withdrawal of license to practice,” said a DCW official.
“Pursuant to this order, the NMC declared conversion therapy as illegal and considers it in the category of ‘Professional Misconduct’ and has banned the pr actice under the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002.”
The official said that despite these judgements, it is unfortunate that conversion therapy is still prevalent and such programmes as mentioned seem to be organised and advertised.
Maliwal said that it is unfortunate that even in this age, there appear to be organisations in the country who seem to claim that homosexuality, lesbianism and transvestism are apsychosomatic disorders’ and need to be “cured” through conversion therapy.
“This is illegal and perpetuates myths, biases and discrimination in society against the LGBTQIA+ community. Every individual has a right to express their self identified gender and choose their sexual orientation. The Supreme Court has guaranteed these rights. Stringent action should be taken against organisations who indulge in such criminal acts,” she said.