Amnesty calls on Victorian Legislative Council to protect human rights in conversion practices debate

Amnesty International Australia has written to members of the Victorian Legislative Council asking them to vote in favour of a bill that would see the end of harmful LGBTQA+ conversion practices in the state.

The Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Bill 2020 passed the lower house of the Victorian Parliament on the 10th of December 2020. It is now expected to be debated in the upper house from the 2nd – 4th of February 2021.

In a letter to members of the Legislative Council, Amnesty International Australia said that the bill ‘is about upholding the human rights of vulnerable people and is integral in ensuring that LGBTQA+ Victorians can live with dignity and respect in a community where we are all equal’.

Amnesty International Australia also says in the letter that conversion practices may violate the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention Against Torture, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The letter says that the Bill will protect and uphold the human rights of LGBTQA+ Victorians by ridding the community of harmful conversion practices.

Amnesty International Australia is calling on the whole community to stand alongside LGBTQA+ Victorians and push to get this bill passed. Anyone can sign a petition calling for the end of conversion practices Australia-wide, and Victorians can email their local Member of the Legislative Council.

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Joel MacKay is a campaigner at Amnesty International Australia.