Progress hailed in historical and transitional justice for indigenous peoples

  • Date: 2017-08-01
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

At the National Administration Conference of Indigenous Peoples held in Taipei today, the Council of Indigenous Peoples presented a progress report on behalf of the Executive Yuan on the pursuit of historical justice and transitional justice for Taiwan’s indigenous peoples.

The report is part of a pledge made by President Tsai Ing-wen on August 1, 2016 during her formal apology on behalf of the government to the indigenous peoples: the Executive Yuan is to update the nation every year on August 1—Indigenous Peoples Day in Taiwan—on the restoration of historical and transitional justice.

A number of the president’s promises have already been fulfilled since. The Office of the President established the Presidential Office Indigenous Historical Justice and Transitional Justice Committee, with the president herself serving as convener and holding dialogue with representatives of indigenous groups on an equal footing. Premier Lin Chuan convened the Indigenous Peoples Basic Law Promotion Committee three times so far. And, the government recently passed laws on indigenous language development and the delineation of traditional indigenous territories, and issued new interpretations on the Wildlife Conservation Act, Fisheries Act and Forestry Act. These legislative actions will afford indigenous peoples stronger legal protection in terms of linguistic rights, the right to land, and the right to use natural resources.

In addition, the government will set up an indigenous legal aid center this year to provide legal assistance that closer meets the needs of indigenous peoples. Draft amendments to the Status Act for Indigenous Peoples will be soon sent to the Legislature to restore the identities and rights of Pingpu communities. An investigation into the decisionmaking process on nuclear waste storage on Lanyu (Orchid Island) has completed its early stages.

Looking ahead, the Executive Yuan will continue convening the Indigenous Peoples Basic Law Promotion Committee to ensure the law is properly implemented by government agencies everywhere. These efforts will create a system and environment favorable to the overall development of the indigenous peoples, promote peaceful coexistence and co-prosperity among all of Taiwan’s ethnicities, and achieve historical and transitional justice for the indigenous peoples.