- Our Mission
To monitor the government in its fulfillment of the obligations attached with human rights conventions,
to ensure that every person enjoys dignity and human rights on an equal ground.
- Our Vision
A professional NGO that bridges human rights norms to domestic laws and government policies.
- Our Goals
Monitoring: To monitor the government on its performance in fulfilling human rights obligations,
with special interest in the governmental mechanism in protecting and promoting rights.
Policy formation and advocacy: Serving as a platform of collaboration for member organizations
and vulnerable groups, to form human rights policies and engage in advocacy.
Capacity Building: Serving as a platform of knowledge sharing, to provide education, training, and
awareness raising activities.
The Covenants Watch is a non-profit and non-governmental organization established on December 9,
2009 by a coalition of human rights NGOs, lawyers, academics, and activists, under the leadership of
Mr. Bun-Hiong Ng (aka Peter WS Huang), a veteran of human rights movement in Taiwan.
It came into existence as an umbrella organization to link the efforts of its members into monitoring
the government in fulfilling its obligations under core human rights conventions. This is of particular
importance for Taiwan because it lies outside of the international human rights monitoring system.
The year 2009 is critical because the parliament ratified the two Covenants (the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights, ICCPR, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights, ICESCR) were endowed domestic legal status by an Implementation Act. Implementation Acts
for CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) was passed in
2011. Implementation Acts for CRC (Convention on the Rights of Children) and CRPD (Convention on the
Rights of Persons with Disabilities) were passed in 2014.
- Issues which we currently work on:
1. Advocacy on government institutions for the protection of human rights.
The CW aims to persuade the government and the parliament to establish:(a) National Human Rights
Commission (NHRC), (b) a Human Rights Office under the Executive Yuan, and (c) Tools for human rights
(a) NHRC: The civil society has advocated the establishment of an NHRC since 1999. Covenants Watch
submitted a bill on NHRC to the parliament in November 2014, and again in July 2016.
(b) Executive Yuan: The Executive Yuan is the highest administrative organ of the State, currently the
human rights issues are dealt with in a dispersed fashion. It is imperative that a well-staffed and funded
unit in the Executive Yuan is established.
(c) Tools for human rights monitoring: We urge the government to adopt tools such as human
rights indicators, human rights statistics, and human rights impact assessment.
2. Shadow reporting and Review
Taiwan has “implementation acts” for ICCPR, ICESCR, CEDAW, CRC, and CRPD. Pursuant to the
Implementation Acts, State reports should be prepared according to the guidelines issued by the UN treaty
bodies. Each review of state report is an opportunity for human rights NGOs to engage the government for
a constructive dialogue.
(1) The CW has already assumed the position of primary coordinator in the preparation of shadow reports
on the covenants. The shadow reports were compiled and translated into English in August, 2016:
- ICCPR Shadow Report 2016
- ICESCR Shadow Report 2016
- Shadow Report on Taiwan government's“Response to the COR"
(2) With regard to the CRPD, it will be ideal for the Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) to take the
lead in drafting and editing the shadow report. CW assumed the role of a technical assistant in providing
to DPOs the knowledge pertaining to the content and review process of CRPD.
3. The rights of vulnerable groups
(1) We continue to urge the parliament to pass implementation acts for the following three conventions:
“International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD)”,
“International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their
Families (ICRMW)”, and “The government Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)”.
(2) Works related to CRPD: The CW contributes in knowledge sharing and awareness raising, and assisting
in legal access, for persons with disabilities.
(3) When called into action, we work with other groups to protect their rights, such as victims of forced
eviction, victims of Taiwanese business operation abroad, children of undocumented migrant workers.
- Publications or Newsletter
(1) Monitoring the implementation of ICCPR and ICESCR in Taiwan
(2) Covenants Watch Monthly (E-paper) (starting from March 2016)