Go TO Content

31st APOR Conference Successfully Concludes

The Control Yuan hosted the 31st Australasian and Pacific Ombudsman Region (APOR) Conference from September 25 to 27, which included a workshop on “The Ombudsman’s Role in Human Rights Protection.” CY President Chang Po-ya stated at the opening ceremony on September 26 that human rights are a universal value and that ombudsman institutions perform the function of safeguarding these rights in their practical operations. She noted that ombudsman institutions’ duties have gradually expanded over recent decades to include prevention of torture, combating corruption, and whistleblower protection, which demonstrates these institutions’ increasing importance and influence. President Chang also encouraged ombudsmen around the globe to hold steadfast in carrying out their duties in order to further advance good governance and human rights protection.

Also speaking at the opening, International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) Secretary General Werner Amon and APOR President Peter Boshier expressed their appreciation to the CY for arranging the conference and emphasized the important role of ombudsman institutions in enhancing human rights protection and the welfare of the people.

APOR member representatives and foreign guests were invited to share their professional insights and experience as well as case studies during the workshop, which was divided into three sessions, on “Practices and Recent Development of the International Ombudsman Institute,” “The Ombudsman and the Protection of Economically and Socially Disadvantaged People’s Human Rights,” and “The Multifunctional Role of the Ombudsman.” CY Member Chen Hsiao-hung served as moderator of the first session, while CY Member Wang Mei-yu and Bau Tzong-ho gave speeches at the second and third workshops, respectively.

The first session focused on the history as well as recent and future developments of international ombudsman institutions, such as the IOI and Ibero-American Federation of Ombudsman (FIO). At the second session, participants shared and discussed case studies on human rights protection work with respect to the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT), and the protection by ombudsmen of vulnerable groups, such as aboriginal people in Australia, juvenile prisoners, and migrant workers in Taiwan. The final session centered on how ombudsman powers have become increasingly comprehensive as human rights have become a universal value, with speakers introducing the multifunctional roles of the Control Yuan, Office of the Ombudsman in New Zealand, the Administrative Evaluation Bureau in Japan and the Parliamentary Ombudsman in Sweden. Participants in the workshops engaged in open and friendly discussions on these and related human rights issues.

Speaking at the conference closing ceremony, CY Vice President Sun Ta-chuan, expressed appreciation to all the participants from home and abroad for their contribution to making this year’s gathering a success. He also thanked the speakers for their insightful and interesting presentations which all the participants benefited from and which demonstrated the dedication and resolve of the CY and other ombudsman institutions around the world in carrying out their duties of safeguarding human rights. Also speaking at the closing, APOR President Peter Boshier stated that human rights protection will be a key focus of ombudsman institutions in their continued development. He also thanked CY President Chang and the CY staff for their warm hospitality and for the excellent arrangements made for the event. More than 130 guests, including over 30 from abroad, took part in the 31st APOR Conference which ended in success.