Taiwan’s human rights get thumbs-down in poll

Staff Writer, with CNA

Wed, Dec 05, 2012 - Page 3

More than 40 percent of the respondents in an annual survey rated Taiwan’s overall performance in human rights protection this year as either “bad” or “very bad,” the Taipei-based Chinese Association for Human Rights said yesterday.

In terms of overall human rights protection, 27.7 percent of residents said Taiwan’s performance was bad, while 15.7 percent considered it to be very bad, the association said, citing the poll.

Only 4 percent of the respondents rated Taiwan’s overall human rights situation as “very good,” while 34.3 percent said it was “good” and 18.3 percent did not comment, according to the association.

In the telephone survey conducted from August to October, the association asked the 1,000-plus respondents to rate Taiwan’s overall situation and performance in 11 human rights categories as good, very good, bad, or very bad. The respondents were also given a “no comment” option.

Among the 11 categories, the protection of economic human rights received the most negative responses, with 76 percent saying it was bad or very bad, while only 13.8 percent gave it a positive rating.

On the protection of workers’ human rights, 25.2 percent of respindents said it was very bad, 31.3 percent said it was bad, while 27.9 percent that said it was either good or very good.

About 53.5 percent of the respondents gave the protection of judicial human rights a negative rating, compared with 21.4 percent who rated it positively.

As for the protection of political human rights, a combined 45.7 percent of respondents rated Taiwan’s performance as good or very good, while 29.7 percent gave a negative rating.

The poll also asked the respondents to compare human rights in Taiwan this year with last year, on a six-scale chart.

About 33.4 percent of respondents said the level of overall human rights protection this year remained roughly unchanged from last year, 16.7 percent said it has improved, while 20.1 percent said it has worsened.

Again, the category of economic human rights was seen as the most problematic, with 41.8 percent of respondents saying it has worsened substantially over the past year and 27.3 percent saying it has worsened.

Only 0.8 percent said Taiwan has improved substantially in the area of economic human rights, while 8.3 percent saw the situation as improved.

A combined 47 percent of the respondents said workers’ human rights are now worse than last year, while 26.5 percent said the situation has remained unchanged and 13.7 percent said it has improved, or improved substantially.