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Supporting the new Human Rights Commission in Taiwan

Graphic: View of a street in Taipei

The APF presented on the role of NHRIs and Ombudsman Institutions during an event focused on improving the National Human Rights Commission in Taiwan.

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The APF was invited to deliver a presentation on the role of National Human Rights Institutions and Ombudsman Institutions during an online event hosted by the Asian NGO Network on National Human Rights Institutions (ANNI), in collaboration with Covenants Watch, on 25 November.

The virtual event, titled ‘Strengthening the National Human Rights Commission’s (NHRC) Role in the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Taiwan’ provided a platform for cooperation between civil society organisations in Taiwan to advocate for an independent and functional NHRC in compliance with the Paris Principles. 

The focus of the event was to reflect on the challenges faced by the NHRC in the protection and promotion of human rights since its establishment in 2020, to highlight the human rights situation in Taiwan, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to consider ways for CSOs to continue to advocate for the strengthening of the NHRC in delivering its mandate. 

During the session on NHRIs, the APF’s Legal and Policy Manager, Mr Phillip Wardle, provided an overview of the APF’s work in supporting the establishment of NHRIs, as well as addressing the concept of the ‘hybrid’ model of an NHRI – institutions that exercise both a human rights mandate and a ‘good governance’ mandate.

Two APF members which have successfully utilised the ‘hybrid’ model are the Ombudsman of Samoa and the Provedor for Human Rights and Justice of Timor-Leste. Both institutions are currently ‘A-status’ members of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI). The NHRC is located within the Control Yuan, which is Taiwan’s Ombudsman Institution and also has a broad good governance mandate. 

The APF has provided assistance to the Government of Taiwan and the Control Yuan as part of its efforts to establish the NHRC, including co-facilitating a 2017 scoping visit on the design of the institution, as well as follow up advice in 2020 on the national legislation to establish the NHRC’s legal mandate. The APF has welcomed the establishment of the NHRC and highlights its potential as a leading institution to safeguard the human rights of all people in Taiwan. 

The APF is grateful to ANNI for the opportunity to take part in this online event and looks forward to future collaboration with the regional network and civil society organisations.

Date: 30 November 2021

Image credits

  1. View of a street in Taipei - Sergio Capuzzimati on Shutterstock