邱伊翎也進一步指出，由於審查地點在台北，大部分的NGO都有機會和與會的人權專家分享其意見；相較於聯合國人權事務委員會（UN Human Rights Committee）為《公政公約》及經社文委員會為《經社文公約》所做的審查，台灣所做的審查更為全面。
Amnesty submits shadow report on Taiwan’s third ICCPR and ICESCR review
Amnesty International has highlighted its key human rights concerns in Taiwan in a shadow report regarding the government’s implementation of two UN human rights treaties.
On 15 October, the organization’s Taiwan office made a submission to the International Review Committee ahead of its review of Taiwan’s implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
It is the first time Amnesty has submitted a shadow report and taken part in the full review process on the implementation of the ICCPR and ICESCR in Taiwan. There have been two previous reviews, in 2013 and 2017, in which Amnesty attended only as an observer. The International Review Committee is expected to review and discuss Amnesty’s report during the week-long review process on 22-26 March, 2021.
“We recognize the government’s effort in hosting the review and we are hoping through this review that the government of Taiwan will show more commitment to, and have a more positive impact on, human rights,” said E-Ling Chiu, Director of Amnesty International Taiwan.
“This review in Taiwan by a set of international experts is more comprehensive than the review on the ICCPR undertaken by the UN Human Rights Committee and the review on ICESCR undertaken by The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Since the location of the review is in Taipei, most NGOs will have the opportunity to share their opinions with human rights experts.”
In its submission, Amnesty International emphasizes human rights concerns relating to the COVID-19 pandemic; the death penalty; refugees and asylum-seekers; the right to privacy, in particular the application of facial recognition technology and the use of digital identification; the right to freedom of expression, especially regarding measures on handling misinformation; the Assembly and Parade Act, the use of less lethal weapons in the policing of assemblies, and the case of the Sunflower Movement; same-sex marriage; migrant workers’ rights; and the rights of Indigenous peoples.
The right to privacy in the pandemic
The Taiwan government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has received domestic and international praise. However, some measures taken carry risks to the enjoyment of human rights, especially the right to privacy.
Authorities have tracked potential patients and monitored people in quarantine in the name of fighting COVID-19. The government has access to personal information such as travel history, credit card transaction logs and mobile location data. These new measures put individuals’ right to privacy at risk as they are not subject to a clearly defined scope and timeframe.
“When implementing surveillance measures, the government should ensure all measures comply with the principles of legality, necessary and proportionality,”said E-Ling Chiu.
Lack of progress towards legislation of the Refugee Act
The Refugee Act has been delayed in the legislative process for many years. In 2017, the review committee indicated that the government of Taiwan should pass an act to ensure that the principle of non-refoulement could be followed.
Due to the absence of regulation, the Taiwan authorities can only handle asylum seekers on a case-by-case bases. It is hard for the government of Taiwan to provide asylum seekers with effective protection.
“Taiwan should create a mechanism on review and protection for refugees and obey the non-refoulement principle, consistent with international law, “said E-Ling Chiu.
Privacy risks in the use of facial recognition technology
Facial recognition technology (FRT) has been widely used by the government of Taiwan in multi-public areas, such as schools and train stations. These measures are often taken without obtaining people’s consent and lack a strong legal basis.
The use of FRT interferes with people’s freedom to control their personal information significantly, since the FRT can collect and process personal data.
“Taiwan’s facial recognition technology measures have violated ICCPR Article 17. The use, development, production, sale and export of facial recognition technology for identification purposes by state agencies and the private sector should be banned immediately,” said E-Ling Chiu.
New eID (e-Identification)
On 5 October, the Ministry of the Interior of Taiwan announced that the government will issue a new e-Identification system in July 2021. The New eID would combine the existing ID card with a Citizen Digital Certificate which enables citizens to use multiple public services via a single certificate.
“The New eID could be harmful to people’s right to privacy. For example, without proper regulation it could lead to the misuse of personal data by the public or private sectors,” said E-Ling Chiu.
“The government must comprehensively regulate in law all relevant aspects pertaining to the New eID.”