The third Taiwan-EU Human Rights Consultations was held via videoconference July 15, underscoring the two sides’ commitment to advancing universal values.
The one-day event was co-chaired by Taiwan’s Minister Without Portfolio Lo Ping-cheng and EU counterparts Luisa Ragher, head of Division for Human Rights of the European External Action Service, and Jonathan Hatwell, head of EEAS’ Division for China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Mongolia.
Officials discussed a wide spectrum of topics spanning the death penalty, gender equality and fair treatment for migrant workers and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community.
According to a joint news release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Economic and Trade Office in Taiwan, the two sides reaffirmed the shared values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Taiwan and the EU additionally reiterated the importance of dialogue, cooperation and solidarity in supporting these fundamental values and addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the statement said.
During the consultations, Taiwan presented its headway on adopting the country’s first Human Rights Action Plan and establishing a National Human Rights Commission, while the EU outlined its Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2020-2024.
The EU welcomed Taiwan’s progress toward finalizing a national Action Plan on Business and Human Rights. European representatives especially applauded efforts to improve working conditions on board fishing vessels in line with the International Labour Organization’s Convention No. 188, an initiative supported by the EU’s Technical Assistance and Information Exchange project.
On the topic of the death penalty, the EU restated its longstanding opposition. Both sides also reviewed the conditions of detention centers and prisons in Taiwan as well as human rights protections for Taiwan nationals arrested or detained in the EU.
The representatives agreed to continue cooperation and exchanges on the issues addressed during the videoconference, with plans to hold a physical meeting next year if circumstances permit.