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Taoyuan wins international award for citizen participation program

2018/11/28 21:59:41

Photo courtesy of Taoyuan's Department of Labor

Taipei, Nov. 28 (CNA) Taoyuan has won an international award for a program it initiated in 2017 to promote societal integration of migrant workers, the city's Department of Labor said Wednesday.

The award, granted annually by the International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IOPD) in recognition of public policies implemented by local governments, was presented Tuesday at the IOPD's annual conference in Spain to Taoyuan as this year's winner for Best Practice in Citizen Participation, the department said in a statement.

The city was recognized for its Participatory Budgeting for Migrant Workers program, which its labor department launched in 2017 to create a more inclusive society for migrant workers.

Head of the department Wag An-pang (王安邦) accepted the award in Barcelona on behalf of the Taoyuan City government, which won from a field of 65 local and regional governments around the world, according to the statement.

Home to more than 100,000 migrant workers, the city in northern Taiwan initiated participatory budgeting last year, inviting its foreign migrants to participate in its policy planning and budgeting.

"We tried to create spaces for the provision of equal participation opportunities for migrant workers and diverse inclusion in Taiwanese society," the city government said in its presentation of the project to the IOPD.

The target group "consisted of South-East-Asian migrant workers who were living and working here without citizenship and were both disadvantaged and being discriminated against in Taiwan," the city said.

The IOPD is a worldwide network of some 800 members, including local governments, non-profit organizations and research centers, with an interest in learning about, exchanging impressions on, and applying participatory democracy experiences in the local sphere for the purpose of expanding democracy, according to the Taoyuan City government.

(By Wu Rui-chi and Elizabeth Hsu)
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