The International Review Meeting (hereinafter the Review Meeting) of the Second National Report under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) begins today (14) and will continue through the 18th of November at the Taipei International Convention Center (TICC). Five international experts who all have long been involved in work on the CRC from the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Serbia, Australia, and Ireland were invited to form the International Review Committee (the Committee) and review the second national report. Engaging with children and youth, NGOs, and government agencies, the Committee will review the important developments on the rights of the child that Taiwan has made over the past 5 years since the initial report and, through constructive dialogues, facilitate work on child rights in Taiwan to attain a level of compliance closer to the international level. The Review Meeting commenced in an opening ceremony, with Executive Yuan Minister without Portfolio Lin Wan-I in attendance to welcome and express gratitude to the Committee members on behalf of Taiwan. Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission Chen Ju and representatives from Judicial Yuan and government agencies were also in attendance to share the results of work done in Taiwan on the rights of the child.
Minister without Portfolio Lin said during his opening address that since November 20, 2014, when Taiwan began putting the Implementation Act of the Convention on the Rights of the Child into effect, Taiwan has gradually realized its promise to implement the Convention and set up a national report system for that express purpose. In writing the national report on the CRC, the government not only consulted many NGOs for their views, it also encouraged participation of children and youth so as to give them a voice in the protection of their own rights. In this three-day meeting, government agencies, the National Human Rights Commission, NGOs, and children and youth will have ample time to converse with the members of the Committee. It is expected that such intensive dialogue will make fertile ground for new and original ideas for the better implementation of the CRC in Taiwan, and, as a result, cultivate a better future Taiwan for the children and youth of today.
The Minister of Health and Welfare pointed out that the Committee will engage with legislators and NGO representatives in the pre-review meeting on the first day of the event; then, in closed-door sessions, the Committee will discuss the parallel reports submitted by children, youth, and NGO representatives. On the second and third days, the Committee will begin its review of the national report submitted by the Government, the scope of which will cover a variety of aspects, including general measures of implementation, definition of the child, general principles, civil rights and freedoms, protection of children from violence, family environment and alternative care, disabilities, basic health and welfare, education and leisure and culture activities, and special protective measures. On the last day, the Committee members will present their concluding observations, which will be announced publicly in a press conference. All proceedings of the meeting will be streamed live online (simultaneous translation and sign language provided). We welcome the public to observe the proceedings and show their concern for the rights of the child. Streaming can be accessed at this link: https://crc2ndreport.tw.