Professor Philip Alston to Serve on First-ever Human Rights Review Panel of Taiwan (Feb 24-Mar 1)
February 19, 2013

At the end of February 2013, the government of Taiwan will conduct the first international human rights review of its implementation of the two principal human rights treaties, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights (ICESCR). Professor Jerome Cohen, Co-Director of NYU School of Law’s U.S.-Asia Law Institute, and Professor Philip Alston, Faculty Chair of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, will serve on the review panels for the ICCPR and ICESCR respectively.

The review is considered a milestone in Taiwan’s human rights evolution. It marks the first time there will be a comprehensive external review of the island’s human rights record since it was excluded from the United Nations in 1971. Despite its exclusion from the UN human rights regimes, beginning in 2009, the Taiwan government has made a commendable commitment to implement the ICCPR and ICESCR. Taiwan is employing several innovative implementation strategies, including its organization of an on-site international evaluation that emulates UN treaty review procedures to the extent possible. Taiwan’s vibrant civic groups have also produced shadow reports critiquing the government’s performance and taken advantage of this international platform to coordinate their advocacy efforts. This review, therefore, has significant implications for Taiwan’s compliance with international human rights standards and the civil society’s mobilization. The U.S.-Asia Law Institute is studying and monitoring this process closely.


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