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Jerome A. Cohen, William P. Alford & Chang-fa Lo, Introduction — An Overview, in Taiwan and International Human Rights: A Story of Transformation 3 (Jerome A. Cohen, William P. Alford & Chang-fa Lo eds., 2019).

Abstract: Taiwan has gone through a number of important stages in its modern history, including the 1945 resumption of governance by the Republic of China succeeding Japanese colonialism, the Nationalist central government’s 1949 move to Taiwan, the horrendous abuse of many fundamental rights during four decades of martial law, and the termination of martial law beginning 1987. The issues discussed in this chapter mostly concern the recent stages. They include: the gradual transition to a constitutional regime protecting human rights; the role of Confucian tradition in the transition process; human rights related institutional arrangements (including the Constitutional Court, the Control Yuan, and the yet-to be- created National Human Rights Commission); Taiwan’s adoption of human rights treaties through implementation legislation and constitutional interpretation; the roles of NGOs in human rights protection; and Taiwan’s problems relating to: civil and political rights (including the death penalty, personal liberty, freedoms of expression, privacy, and fair trial), economic, social, and cultural rights (including the rights to health, a clean environment, and adequate housing and food) and the protection of vulnerable groups (including indigenous people, women, LGBT individuals, the disabled, and foreigners). Thus this chapter offers background to other chapters in this book concerning Taiwan’s human rights performance.