From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Taiwan Church Calls for Human Rights Talk and Action

From Taiwan Church News <>
Date Thu, 05 Dec 2002 12:11:14 +0800

Taiwan Church News 2649, December 8, 2002
Reported by Li Hsin ren and Li Yi-shin.
Translated and rewritten by David Alexander

   Every year the 10th of December is marked to give attention to
the United Nations 1948 Declaration on Human Rights.  In
preparation for the commemoration, many elders and clergy of the
Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT), which has long been active
on the human rights front, spoke to the Taiwan Church News from
different standpoints.
   Ms. Kao Lee Li-chen, chairperson of the Association to End
Child Prostitution and a roving ambassador of Taiwans Foreign
Ministry, calls for widespread and individual respect of human
rights, especially those of the weak social sectors.  "Human
rights are granted by God. No person should be deprived of
them."	She believes that Taiwan needs to do extensive work in
human rights education.
   Recently Ms. Kao represented Taiwan to visit NGO's in New
Zealand and Australia. She learned of human rights developments
in those two nations, and found that schools there teach respect
of individual human rights from the earliest years.  She
recommends these models to Taiwan's educational authorities.  But
she adds that the people who most need "re-education" are the
members of parliament themselves.
   The Rev. Mr. Lim Hon-tiong, Youth Ministries Secretary at the
PCT's General Assembly, suggests that churches might serve as the
primary training grounds for human rights education through
teaching "respect for life" and "humanity as created in the image
of God."  Mr. Lin's opinion of the government's "National Human
Rights Code", which has specific provisions for Aboriginal
peoples, is that it is too weak.  "Taiwan needs to strengthen
structures and thinking on the topics of national and constituent
group rights. This requires a clear vision of the nation's
future, the nation's name, the flag and other such questions."
   "As we face globalization," he says, "we must keep in mind the
pressures on the poor and the unemployed."  He pointed to
government policies paying higher than market interest rates on
the retirement accounts of retired soldiers, civil servants and
teachers as an example of Taiwan's internal inequities, and
questioned whether this, too, might be considered a matter of
human rights.
   Nearly three years into a new central government's term, human
rights activists have seen little progress in the general
situation here.  The Taiwan Human Rights Association invites
nominations from social and media groups for the "Ten Major Human
Rights Stories of the Year". It hopes by such means to draw
attention to human rights in general, and to Taiwan's situation
in particular.	The Association emphasizes that human rights here
should be a public concern, and that conversation about them be
colorful and abundant.

For More Information:  Kao Lee Li-chin	TEL +886 2 2702 1956
		       Lim Hon-tiong

Taiwan Church News is published weekly in Chinese.
Visit our web site:

Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home