President Chen Shui-bian (
Chen made the remarks in a written congratulatory message delivered at the opening of a two-day international conference on the theories and history of human rights. Academia Historica President Chang Yen-hsien (
In his message, Chen said that human rights protection in Taiwan's Constitution was inadequate and incomplete in terms of modern constitutional standards.
Since assuming office, Chen said he has come up with many human rights policy initiatives, including the establishment of a human rights commission, the issuing of an annual national rights report and assessing the possible impact on human rights while formulating all bills or policies.
Chen said all these steps could be enshrined in the nation's new constitution to upgrade human rights protection to a world class standard.
In his 2000 inaugural speech, Chen recalled that he outlined three key principles regarding human rights policy -- pushing the legislature to pass the International Bill of Rights as a domestic law of Taiwan to become the "Taiwan Bill of Rights," setting up an independent national human rights commission in line with UN requirements and bringing the country back into the fold of the international human rights system.
Taiwan took part in the formulation of an international human rights mechanism in the early years of the world body, and signed nearly 20 international human rights conventions. However, Chen said, the previous government failed to institute human rights protection.