The Global Fight to End “Reparative Therapy”
Countries around the world are increasingly acknowledging the extreme physical and psychological effects of LGBT “conversion” or “reparative therapy,” pseudoscientific practices including electroshock therapy, sexual violence, and psychological assault run in an effort to purge LGBT individuals of their sexual and gender orientations and identities. From East Asia to the Americas to the Middle East, governments have begun banning such practices, though they continue to run to the financial and psychological detriment of their subjects. The Guardian examines global stories and efforts to dismantle the phenomenon.
“Electric shocks, rape and submersion: ‘gay cures’ and the fight to end them” (The Guardian)
“A Firsthand Account of the Torture of ‘Conversion’ Therapy” (The Advocate)
“‘Gay Conversion’ Therapists Find Safe Haven in Israel” (The New York Times)
“Gay conversion therapy, fake doctors to be banned in Victoria” (ABC)
“US government calls for an end to LGBT ‘conversion therapy’” (Al Jazeera America)
(Image Credit: Ng Han Guan/AP, via The Guardian)
Cuban asylum-seekers bound for U.S. stranded in Costa Rica and Panama as Nicaragua refuses entry
- As the influx of Cuban asylum-seekers increases to levels not seen since 1994’s “raft exodus,” more than 6,000 have found themselves stranded in Costa Rica and Panama for the last six weeks after having been refused entry to Nicaragua, whose government is allied with Raúl Castro’s.
- As Costa Rica has reversed its open transit policy for Cuban migrants, the Central American Integration System has arranged a massive airlift to El Salvador, allowing refugees to bypass Nicaragua, although thousands who began their journey in Ecuador are unaccounted for.
- Emigrant Cubans, fearing a revision of the U.S.’s “wet foot, dry foot” immigration policy allowing Cubans who land in the U.S. a path to permanent residency, have taken to Central American land routes in addition to well-known routes by sea.
“Central American countries agree airlift of Cuban migrants seeking to enter US” (The Guardian)
“Central American nations announce deal on Cuban migrants” (Miami Herald)
“Costa Rica deports Cubans amid ‘transit crisis’” (Deutsche Welle)
(Image Credit: Marcelino Rosario/EPA, via the Guardian)
Ecuador government passes resolution to include Afro-Ecuadorian history in textbooks
- As Ecuadoreans around the country celebrate National Day of the Afro-Ecuadorian People, the government announced the new education measure to foster inclusion of Afro-Ecuadorians in the nation’s history.
- Afro-Ecuadorians number more than 600,000 in the country, but continue to face discrimination and economic difficulty.
- The National Day of the Afro-Ecuadorian People began with the 1997 congressional declaration of the National Day of the Black Ecuadorian, symbolized by celebration of fugitive slave leader Alonso de Illescas and Afro-Ecuadorian history and culture.
“On this day we have to remember all the contributions we have made as a people and bring it, together with our history, to the rest of the people because many don’t know it, which enables a lot of forms of discrimination.”
“Ecuador to Include Afro-Ecuadorean History in Textbooks” (teleSUR English)
(Image Credit: El Telegrafo, via teleSUR)
Indigenous Ecuadorians march against government
- Indigenous leaders led a march from an Amazonian province towards Quito against President Rafael Correa’s regime.
- They argued that government policies are dispossessing them of land and resource rights and economic security.
- Demonstrators connected indigenous struggles to broader inequalities marginalizing the poor and the general citizenry.
Watch the AFP report on YouTube.
Treatment program in Ecuador saves newborns of HIV-positive mothers from infection
- In Ecuador, a program driven by the government, Ecuador’s largest maternal hospital, the VIHDA foundation, and Duke University provides antiretroviral medication to newborns of HIV-positive mothers right after birth, significantly reducing their chances of contracting the virus.
- At least 1,000 babies have remained virus-free thanks to the program, when they would otherwise face a 45% chance of infection during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding.
- When their status is known, infected mothers receive treatment throughout their pregnancy, but new programs around the world are pushing for ways to quickly reach women who don’t have prenatal appointments during the limited deterrence window.
“I don’t care if my career as a teacher was ruined by this illness. Today I am happy to see my children healthy and studying.”
Read the full story at the BBC.
(Image Credit: Marc-Grégor Photography, via the BBC)
Conflict has displaced 6 million Colombians, second-highest number in the world
- Colombia’s half-decade of conflict has created ongoing waves of displacement, including 137,000 in 2014, according to the U.N.
- Beyond the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), new guerilla groups and gangs have sprung up, deterring peace and security.
- The top recipients of refugees in the Americas are the U.S., Venezuela, and Ecuador.
“We are witnessing a paradigm change, an unchecked slide into an era in which the scale of global forced displacement, as well as the response required, is now clearly dwarfing anything seen before. … It is terrifying that on the one hand there is more and more impunity for those starting conflicts, and on the other there is seeming utter inability of the international community to work together to stop wars and build and preserve peace.”
(Image Credit: AP, via the Miami Herald)