Participation of Minorities

The Disability rights movement started in Taiwan in the 1980s. Since before the democratic transition in 1987, Taiwan experienced a few incidents which raised awareness on rights in workplace for people with disabilities. In 1990, Leagues of Enabling Associations which comprised of approximately 70 disability related civic organizations was established (the number increased to 230 organizations in 2002). LEAs aimed to coordinate different disabled welfare groups to advocate for disability rights and promote the welfare of people with disabilities. They targeted legislation reforms and increase of public awareness. It became the most influential civic organization for disability rights in Taiwan.

Parents’ Association for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (PAPID) was officially founded in 1992. The PAPID positioned itself as a national advocacy membership association, aiming to voice for parents, to research welfare policy, to lobby for legislation and to play the role of check and balance in the government.

As representatives of the civil society, PAPID and LEAs continued their efforts to monitor the government’s policy implementations. Several protests were organized by LEAs and PAPID to promote disability legislation and policy changes

Third, besides advocating for the rights of people with disabilities, LEAs and PAPID played an advisory role in legislation and participated in related government advisory committees. The most important legislation was the revision of the “Handicap” Welfare Law. It was replaced by the “Disability Protection Law” (the Act for Rights Protection for Disabled People) in 1997, in which government’s role was reframed from a passive-reactive one to an active-enabling paradigm. Under the new legal framework, public policy must accommodate the needs of people with disabilities and must mandate that persons with disabilities be able to enjoy equal rights as citizens.

People with Disabilities Rights Protection Act (1980, last amended 2015) has ensured the equal rights and opportunity for people with disabilities to participate in political activities fairly, while contributing to their independence and development, and fair participation in politics should be provided by the municipal and country (city) competent authorities of individual levels and purposes to the people with disabilities.

However, before the polling day in January, there was a demand to the Election Commission to make the election inclusive for peoples with disabilities. As the Election Commission was criticized for failing to make voting booths accessible for the physically challenged, there was a demand that all polling stations should be made accessible for the physically challenged prior to January’s elections. In previous elections, voters with disabilities had difficulties in casting ballots because some of the polling booths were inaccessible, lack of braille ballots for the blinds, and poor sign language interpretation and lack of provisions for the disabled living in institutions to vote in nearby booths.

Regarding Taiwan indigenous peoples : Since the lifting of martial law in 1987, Taiwan has removed restrictions on the use of languages other than Mandarin, especially in the mass media. Human rights legislation and institutions started to be put into place, in 1996 the creation of the Council of Aboriginal Affairs which became in 2002 the Council of Indigenous Peoples. Council of Indigenous Peoples. Various legislative and regulatory steps were taken to recognize the rights of Taiwan’s Aborigines. For instance, 6 of the 113 seats in the Legislative Yuan are reserved for representation of indigenous peoples. In local governments, a quota of 1 in every four seats is reserved for aborigines. The seats reserved for women also follows the same provision.

Source:

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2015/10/18/2003630344 Social Change and the Disability Rights Movement in Taiwan 1981-2002, The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal, Chang, Heng-hao. Ph.D, 2007

http://electionaccess.org/en/resources/countries/TW/471/

 
 
 
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