Malaysia: so-called ‘awareness course’ targeting trans women sparks outrage
Human rights defenders immediately condemned the initiative: “If you ask someone not to be themselves, that will have an adverse impact on the health and well-being of the person,” Thilaga Sulathireh, co-founder of trans rights group Justice for Sisters, was quoted as saying.
In a long Facebook post, activist Nisha Ayub further lambasted officials: “They need to know that all this kind of correction approaches and trying to change our gender identity does not help, but create more harms to the community,” she wrote. “Stop assuming that you can change a person into the mould of your own beliefs or understanding. This is not about a puppet, but about a human being.”
The practice of ‘conversion therapy’ has been legally challenged or banned in several countries around the world. “Such therapies”, reads a report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, “have been found to be unethical, unscientific and ineffective and, in some instances, tantamount to torture.”
Participation in the course would be voluntary, Terengganu executive council member Ghazali Taib said, adding that the programme would include medical, psychological and religious experts, as well as transgender women who have “returned to normal lives.” …
There are no official figures on transgenders in Malaysia, though a Health Ministry document estimated that the country was home to 24,000 transgender sex workers as of 2014.
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- Malaysian group teaches how to report on trans people (April 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Malaysian probe of trans murder could help rebuild trust (February 2017, 76crimes.com)
- ‘Ignorant’ Malaysian court rebuffs trans man’s plea (January 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Malaysia keeps violating trans women’s rights (July 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Malaysia: Stop trans arrests, repeal anti-trans law (March 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Raids, arrests of 21 trans women after Malaysian ruling (October 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Video: Malaysian prison turned [Nisha Ayub] into a trans activist (January 2015, 76crimes.com)
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