Taiwan launches milestone human rights journal


TAIPEI–Taiwan has taken a step forward in promoting human rights by launching the country’s first-ever journal specifically devoted to the cause, the publisher said yesterday. The journal, which has articles in English and Chinese, aims to enhance people’s understanding of human rights and encourage dialogue between Taiwan and the international community, said Mab Huang, publisher and editor-in-chief of Taiwan Human Rights Journal, at a launch party.

“There has never been a scholarly journal like this one in the Chinese community,” said Huang, who is also a professor at Soochow University.

Scott Fraser, executive director of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, said the biannual publication is a “significant milestone” and described it as an efficient tool which Taiwan can use to reach out to its neighboring countries. “Taiwan is a very important role model in the region,” he said, adding that its democratic progress is a valuable experience for Asia.

One of the contributors to the journal, Lin Hsin-yi, executive director of the Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty, said that despite media exposure of human rights issues, education is still needed to explain the concept of human rights. The journal is an effort to educate, she said, calling for more resources to be allocated for the promotion of human rights among the general public. Lin’s organization holds lectures on human rights in colleges and universities on a regular basis.

Subjects discussed in the first issue include how Confucianism helped pave the way for the acceptance of human rights in Taiwan society and the possibility of abolishing the death penalty in Taiwan.

The journal is funded by the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, European Economic and Trade Office, Deutsches Institut Taipei and Taiwan’s Council for Cultural Affairs.