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Recognition of indigenous languages key to Taiwan's high freedom rating

2018/02/14 19:16:49

Image taken from Pixabay

Taipei, Feb. 14 (CNA) The Council of Indigenous Peoples (COIP) lauded the passage of the Indigenous Languages Development Act, which recognizes 16 indigenous languages as official languages in Taiwan, as a key reason for the country's improved showing in latest 2018 Freedom House report rating.

Freedom House's 2018 Freedom in the World Report gave Taiwan an aggregate freedom score, including political rights and civil liberties, of 93 out of 100, a two point improvement from 2017 and the best score the country has received in the past 12 years.

The COIP attributed this improvement in Taiwan's freedom score to two main events that took place last year: the adoption of the languages of Taiwan's 16 recognized indigenous tribes as national languages and the Constitutional Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

The Freedom House report cited these as key events for Taiwan, with it writing that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) offered in 2016 "the government's first formal apology to indigenous people for centuries of suffering and injustice."

The act passed in May 2017, went into effect in June and by August Taiwan's first nationwide indigenous language radio station broadcasting in all 16 languages went on air.

The COIP said that it will continue to push for policies that benefit the indigenous population in Taiwan.

(By Yang Su-ming and Kuan-lin Liu)