Human rights experts from Taiwan recently visited Canada to research the creation, mandate, and operations of Canadian human rights institutions.
Canada supports Taiwan’s human rights governance projects, helping Taiwan to meet its international commitments and further deepen its democracy.
Facilitated by the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, the delegation of human rights scholars travelled to Vancouver and Ottawa to meet with Canadian experts in government, civil society, and academia.
Their aim was to deepen their knowledge of the Canadian experience in managing human rights investigations, complaints processes, and educational and policy initiatives.
"Canada has valuable knowledge to share with Taiwan thanks to the great variety in our organizational structures, from the British Columbia Tribunal’s direct access model to Ontario’s tripartite system, which includes research, education and promotion, a complaints function with investigations and hearings, and legal aid services," said Canadian Trade Office in Taipei Executive Director Kathleen Mackay.
The group also visited the federal-level Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, where they discussed national and international human rights institutional responsibilities and initiatives.
Canadian human rights institutions consistently emphasize the importance of adhering to the Paris Principles, including maintaining autonomy and having a broad mandate to protect and promote human rights. “The evolutionary history and variety of Canadian human rights institutions demonstrates to Taiwanese policy-makers that no best model exists, and that organizational development and transition is natural and beneficial,” said Executive Director Mackay.
In the months leading up to the visit, an international panel of experts reviewed Taiwan’s first human rights report, and recommended the establishment of an independent human rights commission in accordance with the Paris Principles as a priority objective.
Canada hopes that the establishment of a Taiwanese human rights institution will provide future opportunities for Canada to work with Taiwan in promoting equality and democratic development.