Despite another court ruling permitting the marriage of transnational same-sex partners, limitations on same-sex marriage remained in place. A Constitutional Court ruling required the government to strengthen privacy safeguards. The government published a strategy to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The government launched its first National Human Rights Action Plan (2022-2024) setting out goals in eight priority areas including digital human rights, equality and non-discrimination. The third review of the implementation of the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights under Taiwan’s national reporting system criticized the retention of the death penalty, lack of safeguards governing the use of facial recognition technology, and long-standing failures to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples, refugees and asylum seekers.1
LGBTI people’s rights
In July, the Taipei High Administrative Court issued a judgment on transnational same-sex marriage that gave a Taiwanese-Japanese same-sex couple the right to register as a married couple. Despite being the fourth court ruling supporting the registration of transnational same-sex marriage in Taiwan, it remained permissible only where the spouse was from a country where same-sex unions had been legalized. At least two other cases challenging this restriction were pending at year’s end.2
Right to privacy
In August, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled that Article 6 of the Personal Data Protection Act, which permits government agencies and research institutions wide-ranging access to data in the National Health Insurance Database, was constitutional. The ruling nevertheless required the government to strengthen legal protections for privacy rights including on the storage and processing of data in the National Health Insurance Database and providing the right to opt out of it. It additionally required the government to establish an independent data oversight mechanism.3
In May, the government launched an Action Plan for Fisheries and Human Rights which set out measures to improve the working and living conditions of foreign crew working on Taiwan-registered fishing vessels. The plan also included measures aimed at developing coordinated government responses to preventing human trafficking.
Failure to tackle climate crisis
Emissions reduction targets remained inadequate. A proposal to raise the current target of reducing emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2050, as set in the 2015 Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act, remained under review by Parliament. In March, the government published a “Pathway to Net-Zero Emissions by 2050” which set out plans to reduce greenhouse emissions in key areas including energy production and use, industrial operations and transportation in order to meet the net zero target. In December, the government announced a new goal to reduce emissions by 23 to 25% by 2030, which still falls short of Taiwan’s obligations.
- “Taiwan: Amnesty International has taken part in the full review process on the implementation of the ICCPR and ICESCR in Taiwan”, 13 May (Chinese only)
- “Taiwan: The fourth win of transnational same-sex marriage! The Taipei High Administrative Court granted the first Taiwan-Japan same-sex couple the right to register as a married couple”, 22 July (Chinese only)
- “Taiwan: Statement about 111 Year Hsien-Pan-Tzi No. 13 Judgment (Case of National Health Insurance Database)”, 16 August (Chinese only)