TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Secretary-General of Amnesty International, Agnes Callamard, was in Taiwan for a series of high-level meetings with government officials and civil society organizations in Taiwan from June 24 to June 29.
On Thursday (July 13), Amnesty International published Callamard’s End of Visit statement which included a survey of Taiwan’s current status in regards to safeguarding and promoting human rights. Despite a great deal of praise for the progress and initiative Taiwan has shown in promoting respect for human rights, the organization still shared several criticisms of Taiwan’s government, calling for “sustained commitments” and “further improvements.”
While Collamard was in Taiwan in June, she met with officials from the Executive Yuan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Development Council, the National Human Rights Commission, as well as representatives of both the Kuomintang and the Democratic Progressive Party, per Amnesty International.
Amnesty International recognizes that Taiwan has one of the most vibrant civil societies in Asia, and it has done “impressive work” ensuring the protection of basic human rights. The organization praised successive governments in Taipei for consistently supporting human rights initiatives despite the sustained and serious impact of China’s threatening posture towards Taiwan.
Secretary-General Collamard commends Taiwan for striving to implement legal protections for human rights that meet international standards in accord with various international treaties, despite being excluded from the United Nations and other international organizations due to pressure from China. The organization highlights Taiwan’s legalization of same-sex marriage and the extension of the right to foreign nationals living in Taiwan as a “historic moment and an example to the region.”
Despite the praise, Amnesty International calls on Taiwan to do more in many areas. Collamard’s End of Statement visit calls for Taiwan to make more effort towards abolishing the death penalty and to strengthen social and legal protections of migrant workers in Taiwanese society.
Amnesty International also calls on Taiwan to be more open and accommodating towards refugees from Hong Kong fleeing from China’s authoritarian government, and for those fleeing from other nations of the world. Collamard also says that gaps in corporate accountability should also be addressed, especially with regard to the treatment of laborers and in monitoring the conduct of Taiwanese businesses operating abroad.
The organization also asserts that Taiwan should do more to meet international standards in the areas of “Women’s Rights,” “Climate Justice,” and protections for “Indigenous People.”