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HomeNews ReportsPeru officially declares transgender, nonbinary, intersex people as 'mentally ill', offers free mental healthcare

Peru officially declares transgender, nonbinary, intersex people as ‘mentally ill’, offers free mental healthcare

The Peruvian health ministry, however, stated that the ruling does not require transgender or LGBTQ+ people to undergo conversion therapy.

In a decree signed by the President of Peru on 10th May, the country has officially classified transgender, non-binary, and intersex individuals as ‘mentally ill’ while offering free mental health care. President Dina Boluarte signed a decree identifying transsexualism, dual-role transvestism, gender identity disorder in childhood, other gender identity disorders, and fetishistic transvestism as mental illnesses.

The Peruvian government’s decision occurred just before the 34th anniversary of the World Health Organisation’s elimination of homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The Peruvian health ministry stated that the decision would ‘guarantee full coverage of medical attention for mental health’  for the trans population. The Peruvian health ministry, however, stated that the ruling does not require transgender or LGBTQ+ people to undergo conversion therapy.

In a later statement, the ministry said, “The Minsa ratifies its position that gender and sexual diversity are not diseases; in this framework, we express our respect for gender identities, as well as our rejection of the stigmatization of sexual diversity in the country. The sexual orientation and gender identity of a person does not constitute in itself a physical or mental health disorder and, therefore, they should not be subjected to treatment or medical care or to so-called reconversion therapies, such as It is established by Ministerial Resolution No. 753-2021/Minsa…”

“To guarantee that care coverage is complete in mental health, the Essential Health Insurance Plan (PEAS) was updated, in compliance with the Third Complementary Provision Modifying Law 30947, Mental Health Law of May 23, 2019. This update is carried out in response to the need to ensure the benefit of comprehensive mental health interventions, as conditions for the full exercise of the right to health and well-being of the person, the family and the community,” the health ministry added.

LGBTQ+ activist groups across Peru, on the other hand, condemned the decision as a significant setback in the fight for their rights and safety. Jheinser Pacaya, director of OutfestPeru wrote on X, “100 years after the decriminalization of homosexuality, the @Minsa_Peru has no better idea than to include trans people in the category of mental illnesses. We demand and we will not rest until its repeal.”

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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