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APF hosts introductory meeting with Taiwan’s human rights body

Graphic: Aerial shot of Taiwan neighbourhood

The APF met online with the leadership team of Taiwan’s National Human Rights Commission to discuss the organisation’s priorities.

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The APF secretariat has held a virtual 'introduction session' with the Chairperson and members of Taiwan's newly established National Human Rights Commission to discuss the organisation's priorities and potential areas for APF support.

The ten-member body was established in 2020, after legislation was passed in December 2019 to provide Taiwan's Control Yuan with a human rights mandate. It is led by Chen Chu, the incumbent President of the Control Yuan.

The discussions covered a wide range of issues, including the current legislative, operational, strategic and human rights issues that inform the work and planning of Taiwan's human rights commission.

Kieren Fitzpatrick and Pip Dargan, representing the APF secretariat, discussed the process for APF membership, as well as the various training and capacity development programs available to national human rights institutions in the region.

Phillip Wardle, APF Legal and Policy Manager, presented an overview of the Paris Principles and the international accreditation process for national human rights institutions.

APF Special Envoy Rosslyn Noonan, who led a scoping visit to Taiwan in 2017 and visited again in February 2020 to discuss the Commission's founding legislation, also took part in the meeting.

A woman in an evening crowd looks at the camera, Taiwan

The Control Yuan is a constitutionally independent pillar of the state – with the same status as the judiciary, the legislature and the executive – and operates in a similar way to an Ombuds office with a good governance mandate.

The newly-adopted legislation adds a human rights mandate to the Control Yuan, effectively establishing a human rights institution.

Mr Fitzpatrick, Director of the APF secretariat, said that the new body would play a vital role in promoting and protecting human rights in Taiwan.

"The role of the APF is to support and strengthen national human rights institutions, at each stage of their development, so they can be as effective as possible," he said.

"We look forward to supporting the leadership team of Taiwan's National Human Rights Commission as they begin their important work."

Ms Chen said she greatly appreciated the dialogue with the APF secretariat and highlighted a range of areas for collaboration, including human rights training, information exchange and translating key human rights documents.

"We are looking forward to participating in APF activities in the near future," she added.

Date: 17 November 2020

Image credits

  1. Aerial shot of Taiwan neighbourhood - Photo by Tommy Plaf on Unspalsh
  2. A woman in an evening crowd looks at the camera, Taiwan - Photo by Max Oh