《TAIPEI TIMES》 Filipina wins Taiwan’s rights award
President Tsai Ing-wen, left, awards Child Rights Coalition Asia regional executive director Amihan Abueva the Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award in Taipei yesterday. Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
CHILD WELFARE: Child Rights Coalition Asia’s Amihan Abueva was honored for more than three decades of fighting child trafficking and sexual exploitation in Asia
By Liu Tzu-hsuan / Staff reporter
Taiwan has worked over the past decade to ensure that children’s rights protections are aligned with international standards, and is to continue its efforts, President Tsai Ing-wen （蔡英文） said at the Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award ceremony yesterday.
This year’s award went to Child Rights Coalition Asia （CRC Asia） regional executive director Amihan Abueva, a long-time children’s welfare and rights advocate based in the Philippines, in recognition of her efforts to promote children’s rights and welfare in Asia for more than three decades, according to the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, which established the annual award.
Abueva helped connect local grassroots nonprofit organizations from countries in Southeast Asia to establish a large-scale anti-child trafficking network, which later became the Asia Against Child Trafficking initiative, the foundation said.
Abueva is committed to combating all forms of violence against children, especially human trafficking and sexual exploitation, Tsai said.
“Children’s rights are everybody’s business,” she quoted Abueva as saying.
Abueva exemplifies selflessness and courage throughout her career and continues to work tirelessly to make the world a safer place for children, she added.
As former chair of the child prostitution prevention group ECPAT International and current CRC Asia regional executive director, Abueva has contributed greatly to the formulation of international child welfare policies, she said.
Taiwan’s civil society and government have also been striving to protect children’s rights, Tsai said.
In the past 10 years, Taiwan has been working to incorporate international standards on children’s rights into domestic legislation, she said.
The government in 2014 enacted the Implementation Act of the Convention on the Rights of the Child （兒童權利公約施行法） to incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into domestic law to protect and promote the rights of the child and youth, she said.
Discussions and reviews of the act’s implementation have helped inform future policies, she added.
Taiwan has submitted two national reports on the convention’s implementation, which were followed by review meetings that invited international experts, government agencies and non-governmental organizations to discuss children’s rights in Taiwan, she said.
Children and young people were also represented in the meetings to ensure that they had a voice in the protection of their own rights, she added.
In addition, the Criminal Code was amended this year to include provisions related to making and spreading sexual images and videos to protect sexual privacy in the digital age, in which children and young people might be especially vulnerable, she said.
“Taiwan will remain vigilant to protect our hard-earned democracy, freedom and human rights,” which would help safeguard children’s rights in the nation and around the globe, she said.