The Legislative Yuan, which is currently in summer recess, has decided to hold public hearings during its next session on a controversial amendment that would allow the establishment of legal red-light areas in cities and counties in Taiwan, according to lawmakers.
At issue is a draft amendment to the Social Order and Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法) that would legalize prostitution in specially designated areas.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus whip Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said the bill had been the subject of heated debate.
Some local governments have even suggested that the establishment of red-light districts runs against social mores and Taiwanese culture, he said.
The Executive Yuan adopted the amended bill on Thursday, which rules that those involved in the sex trade — including prostitutes and those who seek out their services — outside special designated red light areas would be liable for a fine of up to NT$30,000 (US$1,040).
The current law prohibits sex work as harmful to social norms of behavior and punishes only sex workers — mainly women — who are subject to a maximum of three days detention or a fine of up to NT$30,000.
However, those who solicit the services of a prostitute cannot be prosecuted.
Earlier this year, the Council of Grand Justices of the Constitutional Court ruled that existing regulations concerning prostitution violate the Constitution, and therefore ruled that they should be annulled, a ruling that takes effect on Nov. 1.
It was in response to the ruling that the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) proposed the amendment based on the human rights laid down in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, officials said.
Minister of the Interior Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said that the amendment would authorize local governments to set up special zones for legal brothels on land designated for commercial use in urban planning districts or for leisure activities in non-urban planning districts.
He said that once the draft bill cleared the legislature, local government administrators would handle the issue in a more pragmatic manner.
“After all, it is bad to see unlicensed prostitutes wandering around cities,” he said.
However, the proposal has received only a lukewarm response from local governments, with surveys conducted by local media suggesting almost all of the 22 cities and counties around Taiwan are not interested in establishing legal red light areas, because of concerns about the possible impact on social order.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus whip Chao Li-yun (趙麗雲) said further public debate on the provisions in the bill was necessary
LOOPHOLES: The people behind biased media content produced by a Chinese network, likely without sending staff to Taiwan, remain anonymous, a source said Beijing’s latest attempt at psychological warfare through heavily biased online media is aimed at sowing discord and polarizing Taiwanese society, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said. The council’s comment came in response to Chinese network Southeast Television, which late last month began broadcasting an online program featuring commentary by Taiwanese unification supporters that authorities suspect was filmed illegally in Taiwan. To circumvent cross-strait regulations, the broadcaster collaborated with online service provider Baidu to air the series titles Diverse Voices From the Taiwan Strait (台海百家說). Only Taiwanese are shown on camera, without revealing the host, interviewer or production team. In one video, political commentator and
RULES IGNORED: CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang said that crew members who break the rules would be required to complete the full 14-day quarantine Three EVA Airways flight attendants were fired last month and this month after they failed to follow the government’s quarantine requirements. This was the first time that flight attendants have lost their jobs for quarantine failures. One flight attendant reportedly breached the quarantine mandate by going to school, visiting relatives and dining with friends, while lying to the company about her activities, EVA Air said. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) have established disease prevention measures for cabin crew members, such as monitoring their health and reporting their temperature daily, the company said. While on flight duty, crew
A group of overseas Taiwanese in Norway are taking a case on their national identity to the European Court of Human Rights — with plans to file the case in the first half of next year — after Norway’s Supreme Court rejected their appeal to change their listed nationality from “China” to “Taiwan,” Joseph Liu, a Taiwanese lawyer living in Norway, told reporters on Monday. One of the initiators of the movement, “My Name, My Right,” Liu and his group plan to hire lawyers from the UK and France who know European law and have knowledge of Asia to represent them,
SUPPRESSION: Michael Tsai, a former defense minister, said that Beijing’s list of Taiwan independence advocates contravenes the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights The best way to respond to threats from China against Taiwan independence advocates is for the president to publicly reiterate Taiwan’s sovereignty, former minister of national defense Michael Tsai (蔡明憲) said on Sunday. Chinese media on Nov. 15 said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was compiling “a list of stubborn Taiwanese separatists and will severely punish them in accordance with [China’s] Anti-Secession Law and hold them accountable for their actions for the rest of their lives.” Chinese media subsequently accused Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) of being a “first-rate war criminal,” because of his policy on mask exports. “The vast majority