Cabinet approves an amendment to prohibit bullying

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

Fri, May 20, 2011 - Page 2

The Cabinet yesterday approved an amendment to the Education Fundamental Act (教育基準法) prohibiting bullying in schools and enabling the Ministry of Education to introduce regulations to prevent and regulate such incidents in schools.

The ministry initially drew up a plan to prevent bullying in response to an increase in its incidence at schools, but it could not be implemented as it lacked legal authority.

If the amendment is approved by the legislature, school authorities would be obliged to take measures, as per the ministry’s plan, to prevent bullying and investigate suspected cases while providing victims with counseling.

The amendment said the nation had a responsibility to shield students from bullying, which infringes on their right to a safe educational environment.

Also yesterday, the Cabinet approved a draft bill on the extradition of prisoners across borders, which states that such extraditions must be conducted with the consent of the individual being extradited, or his or her statutory agent and both countries involved.

Taiwan has signed two extradition protocols with other countries, one with Panama and one with China under the Cross-Strait Agreement on Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance.

The bill is intended to establish an effective redress mechanism and boost international cooperation on crime fighting, the Ministry of Justice said in a statement.

Taiwan has been involved in several extradition cases over the past few years, but the nation has yet to establish the necessary legal framework to regulate such cases.