The protection of the rights of children and youths in Taiwan should be in line with international standards, and the securing of their personal safety is an even more pressing concern. To effectively prevent these young people suffering sexual assaults, four members of Control Yuan (CY) – Hui-Jung CHI, Mei-Yu WANG, Chu-Fang CHANG, and Ta-Hua YEH – have urged the government to examine the existing mechanisms by launching an investigation entitled “Discussion on the Effectiveness of the Government’s Implementation of Preventing the Sexual Assault of Children and Youths.” This investigation, built around a conceptual framework of three-level protection, ran from August 2020 to July 2021.
2020 saw 10,334 cases with 9,212 victims reported in 2020. Among these, 5,979 (i.e. 64.9%) of the victims were children. CY members proposed that a three-level prevention framework be put in place to protect children and youths from sexual assault:
Level 1 (Primary): Precautionary measures for when problems are unclear or have yet to arise. Regulations have not been updated to take into account the vigorous development of new media, and as such, the government should work to revise them. Additionally, education should be used to inform young people about risk factors, so that they can have a clear grasp of them as early as possible.
Level 2 (Secondary): Preventive measures that facilitate early warning for communities at risk to prevent more severe problems developing. Sexual assault cases tend to play out against backgrounds of unequal power relations, and the government should pay attention to these within schools and the government should pay attention to these within schools and shelters/placement agencies. Furthermore, we should confront the issue of such cases in indigenous areas and focus on the growing rate of victimization among boys.
Level 3 (Tertiary): Preventive measures aimed at providing counseling following sexual assaults. Measures such as strengthening protection of whistleblowers and their rights to work, creating a friendly environment on campuses and in shelters/placement agencies where young victims can ask for help, reviewing resources to ensure sufficient resources are available, and reviewing the assistance during trials could effectively reduce the number of hidden cases.
The investigation report incorporated recommendations to be implemented for further protection of children and youths’ rights, particularly given that the CRC, CRPD, and CEDAW are all enshrined in Taiwanese law. The four CY members continue to urge the government to put in place this three-level prevention framework to help secure the personal safety of Taiwan’s children and young people and provide a greater sense of security to the public.
Source: Control Yuan (CY), Taiwan