Government Urged to Accelerate Law Reviews to Better Protect Victims of Cyberviolence

Taipei, June 30 (CNA) The government should work with lawmakers to facilitate legislative changes that provide more protection for victims of gender-based cyberviolence, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said in its recommendations to the government published on Thursday.

The NHRC held a press conference that day to release its “independent opinion” on the government’s fourth national report on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) – a United Nations convention that sets an agenda for action to end discrimination against women.

The national report, unveiled by the Cabinet in early June, outlines the government’s implementation of CEDAW from 2017 to 2021, ahead of a review by an international panel of experts scheduled for late November.

The NHRC said it met with human rights experts, government officials as well as NGO representatives before drafting 25 recommendations for the government presented in its independent opinion released on Thursday.

At the press conference, NHRC member Chi Hui-jung (紀惠容) highlighted some of the recommendations, including the commission’s call for more efforts by the government and legislature to pass proposals for legislative revisions that better protect victims of gender-based cyber-violence.

She was referring to the Penal Code Amendment Bill, the Sexual Assault Prevention Act and two other related laws that the Cabinet sent to the Legislative Assembly in March, with the aim of more effectively tackling cyber abuse and other acts of violence against women. and minors.

However, even if these proposals are approved by the legislature, the legal tools to block non-consensual sexual content on the Internet and help victims of cyberviolence recover sexually-charged images or videos will still be “inadequate”, Chi said.

In view of this, the commission suggested the government propose measures that give victims of cyberviolence the right to request the removal from the internet of sexual content in which they appear, Chi added.

Under proposed amendments to the law sent to the Legislative Assembly in March, service providers involved in cyberviolence cases are required to immediately restrict public access to non-consensual sexual images or videos or delete them after receiving reports of cyber abuse and cooperate with investigations launched by prosecutors.

Speaking about the lack of protection for migrant domestic workers in Taiwan, Chi said the government should revise the law in accordance with the conventions and recommendations of the International Labor Organization.

These workers are entitled to the same pay and working conditions as their Taiwanese counterparts, but they remain excluded from Taiwan’s labor standards law, which provides a minimum standard for employee rights and working conditions, Chi said. .

She also called on the government to close the gender pay gap in Taiwan, saying the hourly wage difference between men and women increased from 14.9% in 2019 to 15.8% in 2021.

This means that when a male worker earns NT$100 (US$3.36) an hour, his female colleagues earn NT$84 (US$3.36) an hour, Chi said, urging the government to do more to “reduce the gender pay gap”.

Although not a member of the UN, the Taiwanese government adopted CEDAW in 2007 and has since published quadrennial reports. However, it was not until 2011 that the UN convention became part of national law in Taiwan.

The review of the fourth national report on CEDAW will be conducted in Taipei from November 28 to December 2 by at least four international experts who will then publish a list of recommendations.

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