The Order of Psychologists in Albania have declared conversation therapy harmful and removed it from the list of permitted treatments in the country.
The European Union has asked all of its member states to ban conversion therapy after a decision in March 2018. Since then, only Germany, Malta and now Albania have followed the call.
Members who violate the ban in the Eastern European country will be breaching the law and punished. The order is now law for all registered psychologists in Albania.
LGBTI+ organizations from Albania have celebrated the announcement. Xheni Karaj of the Alliance Against Discrimination of LGBT has described the decision as very positive.
“We have had many cases of school psychologists who told LGBTI+ children that it was an illness and that they should be made ‘normal’ again,” Karaj told Reuters.
The Albanian LGBTI+ organization Pink Embassy found said that conversion therapy patients are 8.4 times more likely to commit suicide and 5.9 times more likely to suffer from depression.
All registered therapists in Albania must be members of the order of psychologists. Its decisions are final and “legally valid”, Pink Embassy head Altin Hazizaj told AFP.
“This is the final decision which does not need to go through either the legislative or executive to enter into force,” said Hazizaj.
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