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Taiwan's protection of rights for the disabled fall short: expert

2017/11/03 22:25:34

Taipei, Nov. 3 (CNA) An expert invited by Taiwan to review its first national report on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has identified two immediate obstacles to the country's implementation of the United Nations protocol, he said Friday.

Taiwan does not have an independent national mechanism to monitor human rights protections, and its existing laws are ineffective in promoting equality or eliminating discrimination against persons with disabilities, said Osamu Nagase from Japan on Friday.

Nagase, a professor at Ritsumeikan University and one of five international experts familiar with CRPD review procedures invited to Taiwan for the review, suggested that Taiwan revise relevant laws and regulations.

He also urged Taiwan to set up an independent human rights monitoring institution, instead of having government departments in charge of matters concerning persons with disabilities do the job.

Despite not being a U.N. member, Taiwan adopted the CRPD in 2006 as part of its pledge to protect the human rights, basic freedoms and dignity of persons with disabilities.

To further demonstrate its democratic and human rights values, it enacted the Act to Implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in August 2014.

On Dec. 2, 2016 the government published the Initial CRPD Report of the Republic of China. The Ministry of Health and Welfare then invited the experts from Japan, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the United States and Canada to review the report from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3.

At the end of the review on Friday, the foreign experts acknowledged Taiwan's courage in accepting such strict scrutiny that many other countries are reluctant to undergo.

But British human rights expert Diane Kingston, who served as vice chairperson of the Expert Committee for the UN CRPD, suggested nonetheless that Taiwan pay more attention to the problem of multiple discrimination, apart from caring for the rights and interests of persons with disabilities.

Kingston explained that if such persons are also women, indigenous peoples or transgender, they could possibly suffer from aggregate discrimination against them.

She also urged Taiwan to abolish the death penalty, saying getting rid of capital punishment is at the core of human rights values.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Elizabeth Hsu)