Sun, Nov 05, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Experts critique disability rights action

Staff writer, with CNA

An expert invited by the government to review its first report on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has identified two immediate obstacles to the nation’s implementation of the UN protocol.

Taiwan does not have an independent national mechanism to monitor human rights protections and its laws are ineffective in promoting equality and eliminating discrimination against people with disabilities, Osamu Nagase said on Friday.

Nagase, a professor at Japan’s Ritsumeikan University and one of five international experts familiar with CRPD review procedures, suggested that Taiwan revise its laws and regulations to address the issues.

He also urged the nation to set up an independent human rights monitoring institution, instead of delegating the job to government departments in charge of matters concerning people with disabilities.

Despite not being a UN member, Taiwan adopted the CRPD in 2006 as part of its pledge to protect the human rights, basic freedoms and dignity of people with disabilities, and in August 2014 enacted the Act to Implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (身心障礙者權利公約施行法).

The Ministry of Health and Welfare then invited experts from Japan, the UK, Sweden, the US and Canada to review the report its initial report on the convention published on Dec. 2 last year.

At the end of the review, which was conducted from Monday to Friday, the experts commended Taiwan’s courage in accepting strict scrutiny that many other nations are reluctant to undergo.

However, British human rights expert Diane Kingston, who serves as vice chairperson of the Expert Committee for the UN CRPD, suggested that Taiwan pay more attention to the problem of multiple discrimination.

If a person with a disability is also female, Aboriginal or transgender, they could suffer from aggregate discrimination, Kingston said.

She also urged Taiwan to abolish the death penalty, saying it is at the core of human rights values.

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