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Former New Zealand Human Rights Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan and APF Legal Expert Phillip Wardle visit the Control Yuan

  • PostDate:2020-02-27

Ms. Rosslyn Noonan, former New Zealand Human Rights Commissioner, and Mr. Phillip Wardle, legal and policy manager of the Asia Pacific Forum (APF) visited the Control Yuan on February 10, 2020. Ms. Noonan had visited the Yuan with two other experts in July, 2017 on a scoping assessment on the several national NHRI proposals in terms of compatibility with the Paris Principles. Their finding concludes that taking into consideration the unique ROC five-power system, the most feasible option is to make the NHRI part of the Control Yuan. The assessment report is highly valued by the Taiwanese society at large, and was instrumental in the passing of Organic Law of the Control Yuan National Human Rights Commission by the legislature on December 10, 2019.


During the meeting, President Chang Po-ya pointed out she had appointed Deputy Secretary-General Liu Wen-shih to establish a taskforce in preparation for the soon-to-be established NHRC; Vice President Sun Ta-chuan, who chaired the Statutory Studies Committee, will also be overseeing the necessary amendments to its legal framework. President Chang also highlighted that the Control Yuan had participated in the APF Biennial Conferences in recent years to strengthen exchanges with regional human rights institutions; it is hoped that with the establishment of the NHRC, the Control Yuan may foster a closer working relationship with international human rights networks such as the APF. The visiting entourage included Prof. Huang Song-lih, Mses. Huang Yi-bee, Tsai Yi-ching, and Mr. Yang Kang of Covenants Watch. President Chang was accompanied by Vice President Sun Ta-chuan, Members Jane Y. W. Chiang, Kao Yung-cheng and Deputy Secretary-General Liu.


After meeting President Chang, Ms. Noonan and Mr. Wardle jointly delivered a speech on the topic of becoming an NHRI. Drawing from their extensive working experiences, Ms. Noonan and Mr. Wardle identified the possible challenges in establishing an NHRI and provided valuable insights into ways of working around them. The warmly-received speech was attended by President Chang, Vice President Sun and several Members, including Wang Yu-ling, Kao Yung-cheng, Peter Wushou Chang and Yang Fang-wan.


Later in the afternoon, Ms. Noonan and Mr. Wardle, joined by Members Chen Hsiao-hung, Kao Yung-cheng, Lin Sheng-fong, Tsai Pei-tsun, Deputy Secretary General Liu, CY departmental chiefs and senior officers, convened in a group consultation session to further discuss on the aforementioned topic. In his concluding remark, the chair of the session, Vice President Sun, thanked the guests for their helpful suggestions. The core mission of establishing an NHRC in Taiwan, other than becoming fully-compliant with “The Paris Principles,” is to bring about real changes that truly protect the human rights of the people; the Control Yuan shall try its very best to prepare the NHRC when it comes into full swing on August 1, 2020 to meet public expectations, said Sun.