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Bridging International Human Rights Norms to Taiwan: The Role of NGOs

Taiwan ranks high in its performance regarding people’s freedom and political rights and is the first to legalize same-sex marriage in Asia. This is no less than a miracle considering Taiwan was under authoritarian rule through a good part of the 20th century. Since its seat in the UN was replaced by the PROC in 1971, Taiwan lost its connection with the UN, a period critical in the development of the human rights regimes including human rights treaties and monitoring mechanisms. With the political transition to democracy in 2000, the new government vows to rebuild the country based on human rights values. The problem then became, with deep-rooted authoritarian mindset in most officials and a general lack of human rights knowledge and skills, how would the transformation be possible? This talk will present the various roles of human rights NGOs in the process. This seminar is brought to you by the Center for Global Health. 

Song-Lih Huang is currently the convener of Covenants Watch (CW), an umbrella organization consisting of human rights groups, with the central aim of monitoring the delivery of human rights obligations by the government. CW coordinates the preparation of parallel reports to the State Human Rights Reports on ICCPR, ICESCR, and CRPD, to be reviewed by international experts, a unique system CW helped develop in 2012. CW also carries advocacy and educational functions and maintains close interactions with disability groups, lawyers, other NGOs, and governmental agencies to communicate the ways of bringing international human rights norms into daily practices in Taiwan. In recent years CW has focused its work on the CRPD. 

Song-Lih Huang is a medical doctor by training and holds a Sc.D. degree in Environmental Health Sciences from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is the Director of the MPH Program, and Professor of Graduate Institute of Public Health, National Yang Ming University (NYMU, OSU’s partner university), Taipei, Taiwan. He teaches “Principles of Global Health” and “Social Justice and Human Rights” in the International Health Program at NYMU. 


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 Meeting ID: 948 6088 3954 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 5:00pm to 6:00pm

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Lecture or Presentation

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Diversity/Equity/Inclusion, Health and Well-being


Community Members, Faculty and Staff, Student, Alumni, Online

College of Health
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Chunhuei Chi

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