Wed, Jun 12, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Control Yuan approves rights bill

PARIS PRINCIPLES:The Control Yuan president and vice president are to serve as Human Rights Committee chairman and deputy chairman, Fu Meng-jung said

By Hsieh Chun-lin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Control Yuan building is pictured in Taipei on Jan. 17.

Photo: Taipei Times

A national Human Rights Committee and the legal amendments needed for it to operate were yesterday approved by the Control Yuan.

They are to be reviewed by the Legislative Yuan.

Control Yuan Secretary-General Fu Meng-jung (傅孟融) said that the committee would have three main goals — research and planning, including drafting suggestions, pushing for legislation of important international accords on human rights and the drafting of important human rights reports; interviews and investigations of actions that violate or discriminate against the human rights of others; and educational interaction with other human rights organizations or nations.

The Control Yuan on May 13 concluded its deliberations and approved a national human rights committee organic act alongside ancillary measures, an amendment to the Organic Act of the Control Yuan (監察院組織法) and an amendment to the organic acts for the Control Yuan’s subordinate committees.

All three were voted on and approved by the Control Yuan yesterday, Fu said.

The committee would have between 32 and 45 staff, with the Control Yuan president and vice president serving as committee chairman and deputy chairman, while other Control Yuan members would also serve as members of the committee, he said.

Citing figures from an assessment of international human rights institutions conducted by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, Fu said that 80 nations have institutions in the form of a human rights committee and another 48 have the institution in the form of an ombudsman.

As the nation’s highest ombudsman, the Control Yuan has since 1994 been a member of the Austria-based International Ombudsman Institute, he added.

Three human rights experts visited Taiwan in 2017, including former New Zealand human rights commissioner Rosslyn Noonan, and suggested that Taiwan should establish a human rights committee as part of the Control Yuan.

The experts also suggested that legal amendments could, while preserving the form of the Control Yuan, introduce legal responsibilities for it to oversee human rights protection so that Taiwan would become a nation in compliance with the Paris Principles.

The Paris Principles, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1993, are related to national institutions that protect and promote human rights.

The establishment of a human rights committee would help the Control Yuan become a governmental institution that promotes human rights, Fu said, adding that this would help Taiwan connect internationally on human rights development.

Should the act and amendments be passed by the Legislative Yuan, the committee would promote Taiwan’s image as a nation that safeguards human rights, Fu said.

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