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Control Yuan Establishes Taskforce on Role as a National Human Rights Institute

The Control Yuan reaffirms its role as a national human rights institution and has formed a taskforce on January 20, 2014 to develop measures to effectuate the process. The taskforce will invite esteemed members of the society to discuss whether to rebrand the Control Yuan a human rights ombudsman hybrid institution without disrupting the separation of power under the current five-branch government, or to establish a separate national human rights commission subsumed under the Control Yuan (such as the Ministry of Audit).

As a member of the International Ombudsman Institute since 1994, the Control Yuan is the supervisory branch among the five government branches in Taiwan. Like many traditional ombudsmen with the power to pursue administrative justice, good governance, accountability and anti-corruptions, the Control Yuan has been influential in protecting human rights. About 1,441 (56%) among the 2,571 investigations completed since the start of the 4th Control Yuan from August 2008 through December 2013 involve human rights violation.

Since ratification of the Two Covenants (ICCPR and ICESCR) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 2009 and 2012 respectively, Taiwan’s legislation is gradually conforming to international human rights norms. In fact, movements to promote Taiwan’s conformity to international human rights norms began as early as 2000, when a group of twenty-two non-governmental organizations formed the Alliance for the Establishment of National Human Rights Institution and demanded the State to establish a human rights body at the national level conforming to the 1993 Paris Principles. In 2012, the Presidential Office launched a taskforce to deliberate the establishment of a standalone national human rights institution. Control Yuan’s delegates also attended consultation sessions at the Presidential office as a chance to engage with representatives from different sectors.