TAIPEI (Taiwan News)--- After being excluded from the World Health Assembly, Taiwan has also been rejected from attending the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva this year for not being the official member of the United Nations, according to the New Power Party (NPP).
Chen Hui-min (陳惠敏), secretary-general of NPP, said yesterday that Taiwan’s request to participate in the ILC has been rejected. It’s the second time this year that Taiwan is denied to attend international events.
Held by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the annual conference takes place in June and Taiwan has been attending as an observer for the past eight years.
Liuhuang Li-chuan (劉黃麗娟), assistant professor at the Department of Labor Relations, National Chung Cheng University, said that starting from 2014, she had been bringing students to attend the conference.
They were rejected last year for the reason that Taiwan’s passport is not recognized, but ILO apologized later and promised them attendance this year. However, Taiwan’s participation has again been rejected.
ILO’s legal office released a statement recently specifying that those who only hold a passport issued by Taiwanese government may not be allowed to attend the meeting this year due to the need to follow the United Nation’s regulation that non-member are not permitted access to UN premises.
"The reply clearly violates the ILO’s constitution, which speaks of its core values and Conventions for freedom of association and the right to organize," wrote Liuhuang in The Diplomat, in reaction to the statement.
"If this is a policy that has been in place for many years, why the sudden announcement to implement it this year? And why does the policy only target passports issued by the Republic of China government in Taiwan?" she questioned.
Lin Hsiu-hsin (林秀幸), president of the Taiwan Association of University Professors (TAUP), said that judging from the fact that Taiwan was not invited to the WHA and the twin-city forum held by Taipei and Shanghai could also be canceled, ILO’s response may not be the last rejection.
Many believe that these incidents result from the increasing moves by China to exclude Taiwan from international society after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office last May. Beijing’s strategies are getting more aggressive and the exclusion worries scholars and politicians.
"How can the International Labour Organization promote social justice while cozying up to political forces?" asked Linhuang.