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Human rights are universal and serve as the benchmark for any given society. In light of the increasing emphasis on human rights in the international society, the United Nations has been encouraging, promoting and assisting individual countries in the establishment of their national human rights institutions since 1993, by the so-called “The Paris Principles.” National human rights institutions usually operate through the National Human Rights Commission, which investigates people’s complaints, protects human rights, promotes the realization of human rights standards specified in domestic and international laws, and fulfills international human rights obligations.

Since its establishment in May 2000, the Control Yuan’s Committee on Human Rights Protection has shouldered the responsibility of safeguarding human rights by exercising the following powers:

1. Identify and investigate cases involving violations of human rights
2. Deliberate and advise on matters relating to human rights investigation reports
3. Propose changes to existing human rights acts
4. Promote and monitor domestic implementation of international human rights covenants
5. Establish and maintain contact with human rights organizations in Taiwan and around the world
6. Promote human rights awareness
7. Deal with other matters related to human rights

Among the complaints received by the Control Yuan, near 50% involve human rights violations. The complaints have been further categorized into human rights categories as follows:

1. In the category of rights
  • Right to freedom
  • Right to equality
  • Right to freedom from torture
  • Political rights
  • Right to judicial protection
  • Right to participation and to be heard
  • Right to life
  • Right to health
  • Right to work
  • Right to property
  • Right to adequate housing
  • Right to cultural life
  • Right to education
  • Environmental rights
  • Right to social security
  • Others
2. In the category of specific groups
  • Women
  • Children and juvenile
  • Persons with disability
  • Elderly
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Migrant workers
  • Other specific groups
The Committee holds monthly meetings presided over by its Chair to discuss matters relating to human rights protection. A member from within the Committee shall be chosen as interim Chair in the absence of both the Chair and the Vice-Chair. Third-party non-members may also attend the meeting if necessary. For the Committee meeting to be legitimately held, a quorum of a simple majority of Committee members must exist. Resolutions can only be made with the consent by all attending members. For cases involving serious human rights violations, the Committee may recommend its member(s) to deliberate or advise those that are already in charge of the investigation.