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CY President meets British Office Taipei Representative Catherine Nettleton

  • PostDate:2020-10-12

On the afternoon of October 5, CY President Chen Chu met with the British Office Taipei Representative Catherine Nettleton. President Chen stated that with the establishment of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Taiwan government is demonstrating its concern for human rights. She also expressed her hope to work with related organizations in the UK, contributing to the protection of human rights together. Whether during her time serving in the Kaohsiung City Government, Presidential Office, or Control Yuan, President Chen said, it was always a delight to meet and discuss bilateral matters with Representative Nettleton. She also welcomed her to visit the CY as the two exchanged views on how the CY protects citizens’ rights, the focus of the NHRC’s work, and future cooperation with the UK in the realm of human rights.

President Chen noted that the CY, standing with the people, mainly oversees the government and public servants, monitoring for any violations of law or derelictions of duty that may harm the people. The CY can exercise its powers independently if necessary through actions such as impeachment and proposing corrective measures, impeding any public servants involved in maladministration. The NHRC, in accordance with the Paris Principles, protects human rights, promotes human rights education, and concerns itself with all kinds of issues relating to human rights. The NHRC consists of ten commissioners, specifically the CY President and nine CY members. Prior to her appointment as NHRC chair, President Chen had already been a long-time participant in the human rights movement in Taiwan, and she noted that establishing the NHRC is a reflection of the Taiwan government’s concern for and protection of human rights. She added that there are many human rights organizations in the UK focused on gender and disability discrimination or inequality, and that the NHRC will work in this direction, with the hope of more collaboration with UK organizations in the future.

Representative Nettleton first offered her congratulations to President Chen on her inauguration and noted the meaningful nature of the work of NHRC Chair and CY President. She pointed out that the UK’s experience with human rights has not been perfect, and that it has been improving over its long history. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the UK’s primary human rights organization and the union of three previous such commissions, has relations with NGOs in Taiwan and thus has a strong understanding of Taiwan’s human rights situation. Representative Nettleton also expressed her hope that the NHRC can maintain close contact with the EHRC and organize a visit to the Commission in the UK.

President Chen expressed the hope of further exchanges and cooperation between the NHRC and UK organizations in human rights issues, citizens’ rights protection, and the practice of fairness and justice, with which Representative Nettleton also agreed and said she would be glad to see happen.