Following campaigns by LGBT rights advocates All Out and Change.org Ecuador's government announced this week that it would shut down clinics that aimed to 'cure' gay patients of their homosexuality.
For ten years parents have sent their children to institutions to change their sexual orientation.
The clinic’s victims were mainly lesbians, because they stay with the family longer than men in Ecadorian society, but gay, bisexual, transgender and cross-dressing people have also suffered. The women who escaped said they were sexually abused, physically abused, subjected to different forms of deprivation and forced to dress like prostitutes.
In a Hollywood-type happy ending to the campaign, Carina Vance Mafla, who initially urged the Ecuadorian government to investigate and close the centres was appointed as Ecuador's new Minister of Health – and she will be leading the clinic investigations.
Fundación Causana, the human rights group in Ecuador who started the petition on Change.org described the government's announcement as 'a major victory' and thanked everyone who has lent their voice to the campaign.