Fri, Mar 29, 2019 - Page 8 News List

Formalizing assistance for refugees

By Bei Ling 貝嶺

Since the middle of last month, the two dissidents have been spending time at the office of the Permanent Peace Partnership, where they have concentrated on studying the charter. They have written several papers examining the charter’s origins and its connections with various nations’ theories of constitutional democracy.

One of their articles is titled “The Thoughts About Building a Contractual Society in Immanuel Kant’s Perpetual Peace.” Having entered Taiwan as professionals, they are indeed fulfilling that status by serving as short-term researchers in an NGO.

Liu had ailments before arriving in Taiwan. A health examination at Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei showed that he has post-stroke conditions, tumors, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney disease that require urgent treatment.

Yan and Liu have been familiarizing themselves with Taiwan’s free society, where they can go about their lives free from fear. After all the trouble they went through before being admitted to Taiwan, they hope that they can start a new life here and that Taiwan can accept them as residents.

Taiwanese and government agencies should learn the answers to some questions, such as: What is a UNHCR-recognized refugee? What is a UNHCR refugee card, which the agency might issue after evaluating an applicant’s situation? How does the UNHCR operate in Southeast Asia?

In the spirit of freedom and democracy — of which Taiwanese are so proud — we should urge the legislature to place the draft law on refugees and political asylum on its agenda for deliberation and put it to a vote. When this law is enacted, Taiwan will have the legal basis required to accept UNHCR-recognized refugees who come here in search of political asylum.

Bei Ling is an exiled Chinese writer.

Translated by Julian Clegg

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