Written answers

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Legislative Measures

Photo of Duncan SmithDuncan Smith (Dublin Fingal, Labour)
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291. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth when he will bring forward legislation to ban conversion therapy in Ireland; the timeline he has in place to deliver this; has drafting commenced; the measures he is planning to protect people from being targeted by advertisements on social media for such practises; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12076/23]

Photo of Roderic O'GormanRoderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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The Programme for Government contains a commitment to legislate to ban conversion therapy. The National LGBTI Youth Strategy 2018 – 2020 and the National LGBTI+ Inclusion strategy 2019 – 2021 contain commitments in relation to conversion therapy. The LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy provides for the prohibition of “the promotion or practice of conversion therapy by health professionals in Ireland” and the National LGBTI+ Inclusion Strategy commits to investigating conversion therapy in Ireland and following up with appropriate counter measures.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth commissioned research into the issue of conversion therapy. The multi-phased mixed-methodology research was carried out by Trinity College Dublin, School of Nursing and Midwifery, and is now complete. The research provides an insight into how conversion therapy practices operate in Ireland. It also includes an examination of the growing body of recent international research literature in the area. The findings of the research indicate that conversion therapy practices take place in Ireland, and has developed understanding of how these practices operate. It confirms the harm that is inflicted on those who experience such practices.

Given the potential complex and sensitive nature of the proposed legislation, the Government is carefully considering the underpinning policy matters to ensure that vulnerable members of society are protected from these harmful practices. Work on the plan to draft legislation is ongoing including the identification of the key legal issues including the promotion of conversion therapy practices, and is a priority for Government this year. It is planned that legislative proposals will be brought forward by the end of the year, informed by this research and international best practice.


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