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Ukraine war leads to renewed calls in Taiwan for refugee act

TPP proposal includes review committee, sanctions for crimes

Refugees from Ukraine standing at the border with Moldova Thursday. 

Refugees from Ukraine standing at the border with Moldova Thursday.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the outflow of refugees to neighboring countries has led to renewed calls in Taiwan for the passage of a refugee act, reports said Friday (March 11).

Politicians from various parties called attention to the absence of such a law when democracy activists, students, and journalists faced arrest in Hong Kong under the Chinese-backed national security law.

At the time, Taiwan helped fugitives from Hong Kong as a special case, but a more efficient and systematic plan is needed, leaders of the opposition Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) said Friday.

The party’s proposal included support for victims of persecution based on gender identity but also featured provisions to cancel an individual’s refugee status if they are convicted of crimes, CNA reported. The party also wants a special committee to review refugee applications while providing clear information and a fair time span for applicants.

TPP lawmakers said the crisis in Ukraine should encourage the Legislative Yuan to review proposals for a refuge act during its current session. A law would set transparent safeguards for victims of persecution and strengthen Taiwan’s human rights record, they said.