The Executive Yuan yesterday approved numerous amendments, including its version of a national human rights action plan, as well as making progress on a long-delayed Executive Yuan reform program.
At a news conference following the weekly Cabinet meeting, Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) had told Cabinet members that the proposed “national human rights action plan” is yet another milestone in the history of the nation’s human rights development.
This represents not only the nation’s promise to initiate a human rights convention on its own, but also its willingness to reflect on what is lacking and make changes, Su said.
“This is Taiwan’s response to the expectations of Taiwanese and the international community, and we will continue to raise human rights standards in Taiwan,” he added.
Under the action plan, the Executive Yuan said it aims to establish a human rights unit, monitor human rights education and assess outcomes, consolidate laws on equality, bolster right-to-life issues such as teen suicide and traffic fatalities, review policies on housing justice, ensure the effectiveness of climate change legislation, improve laws on digital gender harassment, and codify asylum protocols into law and clarify application procedures.
The action plan would provide overarching guidelines on how the nation could live up to the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Ministry of Justice added.
On Dec. 10, 2009, Taiwan adopted two international human rights treaties, which form the basis for establishing a human rights reporting system, and in April 2012, presented its first national human rights report.
The Executive Yuan yesterday made progress on a long-delayed reform program by approving an organic act for the Executive Yuan, as well as acts for six other government branches.
The Executive Yuan’s proposed act would upgrade the Environmental Protection Administration to a ministry of environmental protection, which would oversee three new agencies: a climate change agency, a resource recycling agency and an environment management agency.
The Poisons and Chemicals Bureau would become a chemicals management agency, while the Environmental Inspection Office and the Environment Protection Staff Training Office would be combined into a national environment research institute.
The Ministry of the Interior would oversee a national land management division, which would administer national land planning and urban development, while national park affairs would be placed under a national park agency.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs would establish a commercial development agency, while the Bureau of Mining and the Central Geological Survey would be merged into a mining management and geological survey center.
The Council of Agriculture would be upgraded to a ministry, while the Forestry Bureau and the Veterans Affairs Council’s Forest Conservation and Management Administration would be merged into a forestry and natural conservation agency.
Under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the Tourism Bureau and the Central Weather Bureau would be upgraded to agencies.
The Executive Yuan’s proposal is to be sent to the Legislative Yuan for review.
Thousands of bottles of Sriracha have been returned or destroyed after the discovery of excessive sulfur dioxide, a bleaching agent, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday. About 12,600 bottles totaling 9,991.8kg of the hot sauce imported from the US by Emporium Corp (河洛企業) were flagged at the border for containing illegal levels of sulfur dioxide, the FDA said in its regular border inspection announcement. Inspectors discovered 0.5g per kilogram of the common bleaching agent and preservative, higher than the 0.03g permitted, it said. As it is the first time within six months the product has been flagged, Sriracha products from
Two people were killed and another nine injured yesterday after being stung by hornets while hiking in New Taipei City’s Rueifang District (瑞芳), with officials warning against wearing perfume or straying from trails during the autumn to avoid the potentially deadly creatures. Seven of the hikers only sustained minor injuries after being stung along the Bafenliao Hiking Trail (八分寮) and made their way down the mountain with a guide, the New Taipei City Fire Department said. Four of them — all male — sustained more serious injuries and were assisted when leaving the mountain, the department said. Two of them, a man surnamed
CHANGES: While NCCU opened the nation’s first co-ed dorm in Mucha, a recent survey showed that Taiwanese are in favor of abolishing gender segregation at high schools National Chengchi University (NCCU) has opened a co-ed dormitory, a first in Taiwan among state-funded Taiwan universities. The 22 duplexes are at the renovated “Huanan New Village,” in Taipei City’s Mucha (木柵) area, near the NCCU campus, a school official said yesterday. Twenty-two out of 37 group applications were selected in a lottery draw to select who would be chosen to live in the units, which can either be shared by up to eight students if the unit has four bedrooms, or up to 10 students if it is a five-bedroom unit, officials said. Completed in 1964 for campus staff housing,
The Ministry of the Interior has banned the use of mirror photos on national identification cards. Taiwanese nationals were required to prepare a front-facing “half-body” color photo or digital photo taken within the past two years when applying for an identification card for the first time, However, the ministry has since removed the term “half-body” in the updated regulation due to complaints regarding its vagueness. Published on Tuesday last week, the amended regulation on the formats and photos of national identification cards includes the stipulation that the length of the portrait from the top of the head to the bottom of the