National Human Rights Commission

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National Human Rights Commission

Postby Hartzell » 06 Dec 2001, 23:57

On July 31st, 2000, President Chen held his second major news conference. One of the major points he made was that the ROC is going to establish a National Human Rights Commission (my abbreviation is NHRC).

Up to the time of this posting in December 2001, there has been no further news on the establishment of the NHRC. Will this just become another one of the DPP’s empty promises?

Or is it that the DPP has come to the realization that there are no significant human rights problems in Taiwan under their administration?

Question: Does the foreign community in Taiwan agree with this conclusion? At the present time, when any problems occur, are the current channels of communication (in the ROC government structure) already adequate for the foreigners who are living and working here?

Do foreigners in the ROC have "human rights" issues that are not being sufficiently addressed at present? What do you think? This is definitely something that needs some careful consideration. What important human rights issues are out there waiting to be solved?
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Postby cranky laowai » 07 Dec 2001, 02:52

Slow are the the wheels of the bureaucracy under this and all other administrations. But work on the human rights commission is progressing, albeit slowly.

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, Geneva">quote:</font><hr>
Law to create human rights commission drafted
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Postby jeff » 07 Dec 2001, 17:47

One problem I always had was understanding how foreign residents legally working in Taiwan could be deported if found to have HIV infection or certain other communicable diseases. That is, legally employed foreigners and their employers are required to pay National Health Insurance premiums. If they are deported because of health reasons, how will they collect on the benefits? Worse, many foreigners living in Taiwan do not carry private health insurance that would pay for their medical care in their home country. Is this a human rights issue?
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Postby JGeer » 07 Dec 2001, 23:37

Jeff's story is an interesting tale of "expedient deportation" policy by the ROC. Of course, the irony of being eligible to return the very next day is even more typical of the ROC. It is not as a draconian policy as it could be, thus does this violate human rights? Perhaps not in the spirit of the issue.

I would be disturbed by the outright and blantant denial of the AIT consular protection rights to an American citizen, such is usually under the Vienna Treaty.

What if they had (maliciously) "deported" you to China by mistake? [img]images/smiles/converted/China.gif[/img]

BTW, I am another "Jeff", in order for everyone not to be confused with the above posting.
[img]images/smiles/icon_confused.gif[/img] [img]images/smiles/converted/neverforget-911.gif[/img]
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Postby jeff » 08 Dec 2001, 00:20

No, there was nothing malicious about it. They were just filling their quota. The guy who busted me even took me out for noodles and a beer after they finished the paperwork. And he picked up the tab for McDonalds on the way to the airport. I got to sleep in the police barracks that night, which was another treat.

They didn't really care where I went, as long as I was off the island for at least a day.

Actually, I did get to call AIT eventually, but only after I had gotten to the airport and had been turned over to the airport police. I also called another buxiban to warn them they were going to get raided (I overheard that at the police station)--but they apparently didn't tell the English teacher, who was deported the next day.

But to get back on track, my main point was the deportation of people for medical reasons. Any thoughts on that?
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Postby Hartzell » 08 Dec 2001, 01:24

Regarding the deportation of people for medical reasons, see the discussion in "Health Check", at
http://oriented.org/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=36&t=000029
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Postby JGeer » 08 Dec 2001, 07:52

Deportation of alien people for medical reasons hits very close to home for Americans interests with regards to the US State Dept, Taiwan status, and the Health Care Finance Administration (Medicaid).

You may recall the US Trust Territory on your grade school maps in social studies class?

Well, these are now "freely associated states" with special alien status under a Free Compact with the USA. The trust territory is gone, and they are proudly independent members of the United Nations. Two have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. However, FAS status is much like being a "domestic country" for many of our federal programs including "Welfare" Medicaid. You may or may not have ever heard of the enormous "immigrant" burden placed upon Hawaii and Guam funding of these 'federal aliens' from Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau. HCFA is at odds with the State Dept over this issue, and the INS officials have dramatically increased the potential denial of entry requirements to stem the flow of FAS "subsidized" citizens whom are only seeking superior health care within the sovereign territories of the USA. A Mexican illegal has much better access to "emergency Medicaid" than a FAS citizen in a lawful status. Mexican illegals get "amnesty" but FAS citizens just get barred from entry into the Mainland.

Taiwan has been most generous in seriously funding the developments of these diplomatic allies. This generosity really makes Taiwan most friendly to the US taxpayer.

What seriously irritates the State Dept position is the "One China" policy has been a centerstage spotlight on this uniquely domestic health issue of health insurance and immigrant status issues. The same "Red Team" folks at State have been the most active in eroding the humanitarianism of the HCFA in the name of "pragmatism". Cite any State Dept official in the Clinton administration whom was a part of the Asia/Pacific staffers, and they mostly likely had a resume with "insular affairs" experience. They also have capriciously and repeatedly sought to prevent the establishment of "universal health coverage" from applying to the FAS areas. HCFA has a problem with this as they feel we have an obligation under the Free Compact.

Cost-consciousness, taxpayer accountability or public health was not in their game plan at the State Dept, just their capricious defense of bureaucratic turf wars against those whom "opposed" them with private sector solutions to bigger government. If you are a "compassionate conservative" interested in the social problems like these, they'll level charges of McCarthyism on the drop of a hat. This FACT alone makes it literally impossible to work with any of the conservative religious charties most likely to build upon their extensive presence in these areas with a non-profit "private" health care infrastructure. This is just the tip of the iceberg but it is almost criminal to abuse such monopolistic powers in the name of "One China" under the Free Compact.

[img]images/smiles/icon_sad.gif[/img]


Legal Opinion: FAS and Taiwan

[img]images/smiles/converted/bawl.gif[/img] [img]images/smiles/converted/Taiwan.gif[/img]

State Dept Unprecedented Action In Name of "One China"

The Response


FAS, TRA, & Constitutional Basis of SFPT

Now do you believe that this health care issue is truly an inalienable human right issue? [img]images/smiles/converted/yes.gif[/img]
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Postby Hartzell » 21 Jan 2002, 09:24

Does anyone think that the ruling party in the Legislative Yuan might buy the idea of establishing a "discussion group" with Taiwan-resident foreigners, whereby six or seven foreigners and six or seven Legislators could meet informally every two months or so to exchange views on the current social, political, economic, etc. situation?

Would it be suitable to advocate that the foreigners to be selected to form such a group, (with a term of one year or more), be able to read, write, and speak Mandarin fluently, (i.e. at newspaper level or above)?

I think I might try to sell this establishment of a "discussion group" idea to the DPP. Thoughts???
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Postby Alien » 21 Jan 2002, 14:39

I don't see why they wouldn't buy the idea, however, how those six or seven foreigners should be selected from among the foreign resident community very carefully and should be representational of the whole community. I don't know if it's important that they are all able to write Chinese, but it would be important that they speak it fluently. It may even be good to have a Taiwanese speaker present, if you're talking DPP...

The business organisations, such as AmCham and the ECCT, have proven very effective in their government liasons, but members of those groups do not have the same agenda as us. After all, most are employed by overseas companies, and it doesn't serve their interests to get involved in 'interior' issues.
They do have experience, though, and some connexions.
But, maybe that would be someplace to start.
Or, at least get ideas.

I'm sure there are a few Amcham people on these forums. Speak up!
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Postby Anonymous » 21 Jan 2002, 15:21

Richard, as a foreigner married to a Taiwanese national, I admire your work our behalf. You are it seems the lone champion of our cause. Although I am but a babe in the woods compared to your time and experience in Taiwan, may I humbly add my two cents to your suggestion.

Politicians have been elected to allocate resources among those they have been elected to serve. Unfortunately, we as foreigners constitute a small minority, and as an unenfranchised minority, to boot, we are unable to have our say as to how the above-mentioned resources are allocated. As a result we are last in line when the cake is cut. Most of us, as I assume, hail from democratic nations, so having no say must indeed be a frustration for us all, especially for those of us who are married to Taiwanese nationals and have decided to reside in Taiwan permanently. As we constitute no tangible asset to any politician on the island, any advances made to members of the Legislative Yuan to further our cause will, I fear, fall on deaf ears. Therefore, any such audience granted to us as per your suggestion will be extremely generous and extremely unlikely.

But I believe there is a way we may convince politicians that our well being is in Taiwan’s best interests, especially those legislators who have a sincere agenda for improving the long-term lot of Taiwan: Politicians who look forward to the day when she enters the international fold as a fully-fledged nation. If we can convince any number of such enlightened members that if we are happy, the perception the world has of Taiwan will improve: Then we shall have a foothold in the Yuan and be able to better go about shaping our lot. If Taiwan were to respect the basic rights of resident foreigners as afforded by most First World countries, she will garner more respect as a nation and be classed on the same tier as these nations. Taiwan will then be able to demand the respect these wealthy nations have had for so long. If Taiwan were to improve the way in which she treats foreigners, she will be able to demand the reciprocation of these rights for her citizens abroad. This will in turn, albeit in a small way, help Taiwan gain more credence as a nation.

So I feel your wanting to target DPP members is a good start and wish you all the best. I would love to help, but my Chinese isn’t up to scratch. Give me a year or two. But if there is any other way I might be able to help our cause, please let me know.
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