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President pleased with U.S. appraisal of human rights in Taiwan

2012/05/25 20:20:57

Taipei, May 25 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou was pleased with the United States' recognition of Taiwan's human rights environment and pledged to review areas that the report singled out as needing improvement, Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi said Friday.

In its 2011 human rights report, the United States Department of State gave Taiwan positive reviews for freedom of speech and press, civil and political rights, and the enforcement of criminal penalties for official corruption.

Ma welcomed the positive recognition and directed agencies to step up their efforts to make respect for human rights one of the country's cornerstones, Fan Chiang said.

The report noted, however, that corruption and violence against women and children remain prevalent in Taiwan, and the president hasalways vowed to push for improvement in these areas since takingoffice in 2008, the spokesman said.

The government has passed the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights into law even though Taiwan did not sign the covenants, he said.

Enshrining the covenants into law has ensured that Taiwan will follow international standards on human rights and demonstrate to the world its willingness to participate in international activities, the spokesman said.

The Ma administration's efforts to promote human rights also included the establishment of a human rights advisory committee under the Presidential Office in 2010 and the publication in April of the country's first human rights report, Fan Chiang said.

Translation of the report into English is expected to be completed within three months, after which it will be submitted for review by experts worldwide, he said.

(By Kelven Huang and Scully Hsiao)