Exhibition opens in Taiwan to mark Human Rights Day

Visitors can see the film 'Through the Dark Path,' which covers past human rights injustices in Taiwan

Human rights exhibition opened Friday in the Control Yuan. (Control Yuan photo)

Human rights exhibition opened Friday in the Control Yuan. (Control Yuan photo)

An exhibition shedding light on the evolution of human rights in Taiwan opened at the Control Yuan in Taipei on Friday (12/4) ahead of Human Rights Day, which is observed every year on Dec. 10.

Organized by the newly-launched National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the exhibition includes screenings of four films on topics ranging from the past persecution of political dissidents to challenges people with disabilities face, according to a statement issued by the commission Friday. Visitors can also be among the first to see "Through the Dark Path" (行過黑暗之路), a film introducing sites of injustice where those in power used violence to suppress human rights, the NHRC said.

The film, shot and produced by award-winning journalists Chien Yung-ta (簡永達) and Lin Yu-en (林佑恩), includes a segment in which Control Yuan head Chen Chu (陳菊) explains why she feels it is essential to include the introductions of such sites in textbooks. Chen, who also heads the NHRC, was herself imprisoned for almost six years in the 1980s for her participation in Taiwan's pro-democracy movement.

The exhibition displays a roadmap-like banner that chronicles human rights-related incidents and events from the 1940s to the 1990s, in addition to introductions of human rights abuses in recent years, according to the NHRC. Another highlight of the event, the commission said, is an interactive area designed to foster a greater understanding of the challenges facing people with disabilities.

The commission hopes visitors will get a better understanding of day-to-day living with disabilities through interactive photos, illustration books and AR board games at the exhibition.

Speaking at the opening of the event, Chen said the freedom and democracy Taiwanese now enjoy are the result of efforts made by many people who devoted or even sacrificed their lives in the pursuit of such values during and after the martial law period from 1949 to 1987.

The establishment of the commission is also an important event in the development of human rights in Taiwan, Chen said, and she hoped people would learn about the commission's responsibilities, visions, and goals through the exhibition. The exhibition will run until Jan. 24, 2021.

The Control Yuan is the government body responsible for investigating and censuring improper behavior by public officials or public agencies. Chen and her party advocated getting rid of the body before she was named to head it. The NHRC was established under the Control Yuan on Aug. 1 and is responsible for reviewing complaints of abuses and discrimination, drafting and proposing a national human rights report, and advising government agencies on related policies, according to the commision's website.

Updated : 2021-03-01 22:15 GMT+08:00