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International human rights office opens in Taiwan

2019/09/04 22:34:40

David Fleming (fourth right) / Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Culture

Taipei, Sept. 4 (CNA) The Asia-Pacific office of a prestigious international human rights organization was established in Taiwan on Tuesday, with the goal of focusing on regional issues such as poverty, labor exploitation, human trafficking, and racial discrimination, according to the Ministry of Culture (MOC).

The Asia-Pacific office of the Federation of the International Human Rights Museums (FIHRM-AP) will also serve as an important platform to create links between Taiwan and international human rights organizations, the ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

Established in 2010, the FIHRM encourages museums that engage with sensitive and controversial human rights themes to work together and share new concepts and initiatives in a supportive environment, according to its website.

Linked with Taiwan's National Human Rights Museum where it is based, the FIHRM-AP is also likely to help promote transitional justice, heal historical scars and bring about reconciliation through dialogue, the culture ministry said.

Such actions will serve to transform negative heritage into a legacy for modern democracy and human rights, while laying the foundation for future peace, the ministry said.

The primary goals of the FIHRM-AP, however, are to raise awareness of regional issues such as poverty, child labor, labor exploitation, human trafficking, religious conflicts, racial discrimination and genocide, internally displaced persons and cross-border refugees, migrant workers, sexual violence and discrimination against women, the MOC said.

David Fleming (right), founding president of the Federation of the International Human Rights Museums

At the International Council of Museums' 25th general conference in Japan on Tuesday, an event was held in celebration of the inauguration of the FIHRM-AP in New Taipei, according to the culture ministry.

David Fleming, founding president of the Federation of the International Human Rights Museums, said at the conference that Taiwan has a diversity of culture and ethnic groups and works hard to promote human rights, the ministry said.

The establishment of the FIHRM-AP on the site of Taiwan's human rights museum will promote greater discussions on human rights in the region, Fleming said, according to the ministry.

Taiwan's human rights museum, which was officially established in 2018, is the first of its kind in Asia built on a site where human rights abuses were carried out, according to the ministry.

(By Hung Chien-lun and William Yen)