The Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT)


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CTOT Congratulates Taiwan on Publication of National Human Rights Report

The Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT) congratulates Taiwan for the publication of the National Report on Human Rights, released April 20, 2012. The issuance of this report, the first of its kind, marks a significant milestone in the deepening of democratic development in Taiwan. The process of preparing such an extensive review, which involved various government Ministries, NGOs, and scholars over several months, was in itself an important exercise in human rights education. The report will undoubtedly serve as an important tool to generate citizen awareness and ignite public debate on human rights issues. This is a crucial exercise in the deepening of human rights and maturation of democracy – and should not be understated or undervalued.

The promotion and protection of human rights is a value that Canadians and Taiwanese share.  In Canada, fundamental rights and freedoms are enshrined in our Constitution, in the form of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter ensures that Canadians enjoy one of the most open, tolerant and free societies in the world, and reflects the primacy that Canadians attach to human rights.  As such, human rights figure prominently in Canadian foreign policy; the promotion and protection of international human rights standards around the world has long been a focus and guiding principle of our policies at home and abroad.

Taiwan has transformed itself into a true democracy based on concepts of human rights and freedoms that Canadians can easily recognize. Since the ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) by Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan in 2009, the CTOT has been working with Taiwanese scholars, NGOs and government Ministries to share Canadian experiences in implementation of the covenants.  While the ratification of the covenants was itself a significant acknowledgement of the solemnity of human rights in Taiwan, it is important to ensure that rights on paper translate into rights in practice. The subsequent passing of the Implementation Act demonstrated Taiwan’s commitment to ensuring that Taiwanese citizens are able to enjoy the rights and freedoms enshrined in the two UN covenants.

In 2010, we worked with the Chang-fo Quan Center for Human Rights at Soochow University to bring two Canadian human rights experts to Taiwan. We held training seminars with the Ministry of Justice, the Judges and Prosecutor’s Training Institute and the Control Yuan. They also held forums with Taiwan’s NGO community, and students and scholars at Soochow University and National Taiwan University.  Last year, the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei provided funding to the Chang-fo Quan Center for human rights to launch Taiwan’s first ever human rights journal. We consider this to be a very important project and are pleased that the second issue is about to be released. 

We are confident that Taiwan will continue to move ahead in its path to implement the ICCPR, ICESCR and other international human rights standards.  We look forward to continuing to monitor Taiwan’s progress, and being a partner to Taiwan as it moves ahead during this very significant chapter in its history. Canada has always, and will continue to support Taiwan’s democratic development.


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