Taiwan to set up national human right institution: Vice President

Taipei, Taiwan's government plans to establish a national human rights institution (NHRI) to meet a set of international standards known as the Paris Principles, Vice President Chen Chien-jen (???) said Monday.

The NHRI will serve as an instrument in the promotion and protection of human rights and the prevention of major violations, Chen said at the opening ceremony of the international meeting for the review of the Republic of China's national report on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

On Dec. 10, 2009, Taiwan adopted the two international human rights treaties, based on which it established a human rights reporting system and presented its first national human rights report in April 2012.

After that, Taiwan invited independent human rights bodies in the international community to visit Taipei in 2013 to review the report.

The review of Taiwan's second national report is being held in Taipei Jan. 16-20 and is being broadcast live.

"Human rights are no longer an issue limited to closed-door discussions," said the Ministry of Justice, which is working with the Presidential Office's Human Rights Consultative Committee, chaired by Chen, to host the review meeting.

At the Monday's meeting, Vice President Chen also noted that three of the nine core international human rights treaties have not yet become law in Taiwan, including the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The other two are the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, he said.

The government will make every effort to enact the relevant legislation in Taiwan, Chen said.

The Paris Principles are key evaluation criteria for national human rights institutions. They were adopted unanimously in a resolution by the United Nations Human Rights Commission in 1993 and in the final acts of the Human Rights Conference that same year.

According to the principles, national human rights institutions should be established by a statutory or constitutional provision, which sets the tasks, composition and sphere of competence of the institution.

An NHRI must have an autonomous and independent status not only formally, but also financially and administratively, the principles state.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel