Taiwan’s Cabinet on Monday released a third report on two international human rights covenants. Premier Su Tseng-chang was in attendance, along with the ministers of justice, health, education, and economics.
Taiwan is not a signatory of either covenant (the ICCPR and ICESCR) because it is not a member of the United Nations. However, it uses those covenants as a way to measure the country’s progress. Specifically, the two covenants cover civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
At Monday’s press conference, Premier Su said that the government's efforts to promote human rights over the past four years have improved the legal system. He said these efforts have also resulted in many concrete breakthroughs, like the establishment of a National Human Rights Museum, the passage of same-sex marriage, and the formation of a National Human Rights Commission, which begins operations on August 1.
It took eight months and 68 meetings to create the latest report. Other human rights developments detailed in the report include: the formation of laws to improve labor-management litigation rights, the protection of taxpayer rights, improvement of the treatment of prisoners, and the decriminalization of adultery.
The Ministry of Justice has invited international experts and scholars to conduct a review of the latest report in March of next year.
Meanwhile, officials say that the government is working to set up a National Human Rights action plan, which they hope to launch in December.