President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that she hopes the National Human Rights Commission, launched yesterday, would make a “unique contribution” to the international community by passing on the nation’s experience with promoting human rights.
Tsai made the remarks at a ceremony in Taipei to pass the position of Control Yuan president from Chang Po-ya (張博雅) to Chen Chu (陳菊).
Hailing the commission’s launch as a milestone in the nation’s efforts to protect human rights, Tsai said that the move is in line with the UN’s 1993 Principles Relating to the Status of National Institutions and signifies that Taiwan is one step closer to its ideal of “building the nation on human rights.”
The commission’s responsibilities include investigating human rights violations, researching and reviewing human rights policies, generating reports on human rights incidents, promoting human rights and engaging in international exchanges, she said, adding that the tasks should be conducted in the spirit of the Control Yuan as watchdog, while fostering local human rights institutions and instilling in residents a sense of respect toward other human beings.
Tsai said she hopes that commission members act as the nation’s conscience, exercise their authority fairly and independently, collaborate in introducing laws on the commission’s operations, interact smoothly with other branches of government, and work sustainably to improve human rights.
Even as the Legislative Yuan is to form a constitutional amendment committee in the next session, the government would press on with the goal of protecting human rights and upholding human rights to an international standard, she said.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Civic groups have petitioned for the commission since 1998, Chen said, adding that she is both apprehensious and honored to serve as commission chairwoman.
The Presidential Office’s Human Rights Commission Consultative Committee, after adapting many international covenants on human rights to the nation, on May 19 ceased operations so that it could pass on the baton to the commission, she added.
Chen thanked all who paved the way for democracy and human rights in the nation, saying that because of their efforts, Taiwan can proudly proclaim to the international community that it is an advanced nation that values human rights.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
The commission is to be a voice for minority groups, comprehensively monitor human rights in Taiwan, consult on human rights, receive complaints on human rights infringements, offer human rights education, assess whether government policies protect human rights, and advise the Executive Yuan and Legislative Yuan on human rights legislation, she said.
Asked what human rights she hoped to bolster, Chen said that she would focus on the human rights of children, inmates and people who are mentally challenged.
Regarding her role as Control Yuan president, Chen said that she would shoulder the “historical responsibility” of transferring the branch’s functions to other agencies, while keeping the human rights commission operational even if lawmakers and the public decide to abolish the Control Yuan.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,