Civil servants must put themselves in the public’s shoes and bear civil rights in mind as they perform their duties to help deepen democracy in the country, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday.
Ma was speaking at the launch of a Ministry of Justice program to train 2,400 civil servants as part of the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The legislature ratified the international covenants on March 31.
Most civil servants don’t know what constitutes a human rights violation, Ma said. He urged government employees to be mindful of people’s rights in order to minimize the possibility of human rights violations in the country.
“When your rights are being protected, you may not notice it, but if your rights are being infringed upon, you would definitely feel it,” he told officials gathered at the launch.
Ma urged government employees to think about how they would feel if their rights were being violated.
The president said he had great respect for civil servants’ contribution to enhancing democracy in Taiwan, saying they have helped make the country the most mature society in the Mandarin-speaking world in terms of democracy, freedom and the rule of law.
Ma said that, since he took office, the number of warrants obtained by investigators allowing them to listen in on telecommunications has decreased by 70 percent, in an effort to minimize rights violations.
However, Ma said, this was not enough, because the concept of human rights protection should reach all levels of the civil service.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA