Legislators set up cross-party human rights focus group

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 - Page 3

More than 50 legislators established a cross-party human rights group yesterday in the legislature to promote human rights and to collaborate with overseas parliamentary counterparts on the universal value.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女), the chairman of the group, announced the official establishment of the Parliamentary Cross-Party Group on International Human Rights at a press conference.

“The group is proud of being the first legislative subgroup that focuses on more than ordinary exchanges and is established to promote human rights after the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women [CEDAW] in 2007, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 2009,” said Yu, a human rights lawyer.

A total of 52 legislators from the DPP, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the People First Party (PFP), the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) and independents joined the subgroup.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) will serve as the group’s honorary chairman, while DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) is to serve as the group’s secretary-general, Yu said.

Deputy Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), who attended the press conference on behalf of Wang, described the establishment of the group as “the creation of an important page in Taiwan’s parliamentary history.”

Taiwan should be proud of itself for changing from an oppressor of human rights in the White Terror era into a promoter of human rights, DPP Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said.

In addition to exchanges with foreign parliaments, the group will also pay attention to the protection of domestic human rights, TSU Legislator Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉) said.

“In terms of human rights development, there’s nowhere to go but up for Taiwan, where the development of human rights has appeared to be going backwards in recent years,” she said.