Dec 08, 2011

Taiwan: Human Right Situation – Public Opinion Improves

Overall public opinion and confidence has improved in regards to the human rights situation and protection.

Below is an article published by Taiwan News:

The public gave the government a higher mark on the country's overall human rights situation for 2011 compared with the previous year, according to the results of a survey released Thursday. The poll, conducted by Shih Hsin University under the commission of the government-funded Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD), gave the government 3.03 points on a 1-5 scale, with 5 being the best score, in terms of overall performance in safeguarding human rights. The score represented a 0.21 increase from 2010. "Through the report, we can see the good work the government has done and also gain a better understanding of the areas that require more effort," said Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, who also chairs the TFD, at a news conference in which the poll results were released. The survey also gauged other human rights-related issues, such as democracy and freedom, through six indexes that include personal freedom and legal protection, equality, the right to protest, access to public services, freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Despite the general improvement, however, the survey also revealed some issues. These included a low score of 2.34 on the sub-index of the independence of the judiciary, as well as falling marks on the evaluation of a press that is free from intervention. "Such a trend deserves the government's attention," said Ku Chung-hwa, a sociology professor at National Chengchi University, who was invited to comment on the results of the survey. The nationwide telephone survey, conducted Nov. 5-8, collected 1,070 valid samples from respondents aged 20 and over. It had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus under 3 percent. It was the third annual survey on freedom and human rights commissioned by the TFD.