Taipei, Jan. 15 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou pledged Thursday that Taiwan will continue to participate in international efforts to provide humanitarian aid for children, during an address at a speaking engagement headlined by visiting Indian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi.
Ma commended Satyarthi's tireless commitment to preventing the exploitation of children and said that his Nobel Peace Prize is a well-deserved honor.
Ma said he is especially moved that Satyarthi chose Taiwan as the destination of his second overseas visit since being awarded the prize.
The president also noted that videos shown at the speaking engagement are testament to Taiwan's commitment toward humanitarian efforts for children.
Over the past few years, Taiwan's non-government organizations such as the Eden Social Welfare Foundation and the Waker Group dispatch about 100 volunteers to India to carry out humanitarian work focused on children, Ma noted.
According to the president, the people of Taiwan have demonstrated commitment toward humanitarian work for children.
In 2013, the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families and the Taiwan chapter of World Vision International sponsored a total of 290,000 children around the globe -- a figure exceeding 1 percent of Taiwan's population -- of which about 5,500 are in El Salvador.
Citing statistics provided by El Salvador officials, Ma stated that Taiwan is the world leader in per-capita child sponsorship in the Central American country.
He added that since becoming involved in various overseas child sponsorship initiatives in 1996, he personally has sponsored more than 20 children.
In addition, Ma noted that the Child and Youth Sexual Transaction Prevention Act was passed during his tenure as Justice Minister, with the aim of eradicating the horrific stigma of child prostitution from future generations.
Ma concluded that he is elated to see Taiwan evolve from a nation reliant on imported love and compassion to an exporter of aid to other countries.
"The compassion of the Taiwanese people transcends borders," said Ma, noting that the outpouring of aid to Tsunami-afflicted Japan four years ago has furthered bolstered ties between the two nations.
Organizers of the speaking event include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Central News Agency, National Tsing Hua University, the Eden Social Welfare Foundation and the Waker Group.
(By Kelven Huang and Ted Chen)