Advocates urge establishing human rights council

SAFEGUARDS:The commission might face difficulties in addressing abuses by the private sector if the body is established under the Control Yuan, an advocate said

Taipei Times
Date: Aug 08, 2017
By: Abraham Gerber / Staff reporter

A national human rights commission should be established as an independent government agency, human rights advocates said yesterday, adding that they are also open to supporting its establishment under the auspices of the Control Yuan, with sufficient safeguards.

“Even though the Control Yuan has investigative powers, it rarely uses them, and membership has devolved into a political sinecure appointment, which no longer plays a monitoring role compared with other government bodies,” Taiwan Association for Human Rights secretary-general Chiu Ee-ling (邱伊翎) said, adding that long-standing distrust of the Control Yuan makes advocates hesitant to allow it to have jurisdiction over a possible human rights commission.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has pledged to establish an independent commission to monitor and prevent human rights abuses, and Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) in January said that plans for its establishment would be finalized this year.

“The Control Yuan focuses on corruption and other illegal activities, not the kind of issues that we protest. Many human rights abuses are legal and addressing them requires legal amendments, but the Control Yuan tends not to address those kinds of issues,” Chiu said.    [FULL  STORY]

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