Covenants Watch

Human Rights and Democracy Reinforcement
Human Rights Prevail

Taiwan has a particular international position. It is hard for it to participate in international human rights networks as a country or polity. But this has proved an obstacle to the realization of democracy and human rights.

After the lifting of martial law, through civic advocacy and the political determination of the government, since 2009, the Taiwanese government passed the six human rights conventions drawn up by the United Nations, including the Two Covenants, as having domestically legal validity. Moreover, the government has vowed to implement such international human rights conventions.

As led by pioneers of Taiwan's democracy movement who advocated for links between Taiwan and international human rights networks such as Peter Huang, an alliance to supervise the implementation of the Two Covenants was formed. This was later renamed Covenants Watch.

After the establishment of Covenants Watch, this allowed for the promotion of Taiwan's unique covenant oversight model, linking local civil society groups to active participation in international review of the Covenants, drawing on UN practices and the advice of international experts to carry out human rights advocacy and social activism.

Outside this, Covenants Watch advocates the establishment of oversight mechanisms for human rights, including the National Human Rights Commission, the Human Rights Offices of the Legislative and Executive Yuan, the National Human Rights Action Plan, the Human Rights Index and Evaluation Assessment, which are in the preparatory stages.

Outside of laws and human rights mechanisms, the Covenants Watch has also become involved in judicial human rights, regarding protections of human rights, business and human rights, residential rights, refugee rights, immigrant rights, and specialized human rights cases, including advocacy and implementation of oversight.

Likewise, in order to make the public more aware of human rights, since 2016, we have held Human Rights Wednesdays as a series of talks. We invite discussion and exchanges around various human rights issues. In a time of social chaos, the Covenants Watch stands against authoritarianism.

Record book
2016 - 2017
Raise the Lee Ming-che case with the UN's human rights mechanisms

Raise the Lee Ming-che case with the UN's human rights mechanisms, to make the UN take up a case from Taiwan for the first time, and later issue a report to the UN (2016 - 2017).

2016 -
Human Rights Wednesday (Starting in 2016) and the Covenants Mini-School (Starting in 2021)

Human Rights Wednesday and the Covenants Mini-School serve as a way of educating about human rights and advancing ideological work. Human Rights Wednesdays is a salon about human rights oriented toward the general public, while the Covenants Mini-School provides more specialized discussion about human rights conventions and human rights mechanisms, regarding their contents and the role they play. Otherwise, we invite international experts focused on specific topics to Taiwan for training and exchanges about human rights.


Key Points of the "Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities": Fifteen Lectures About the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2019), Translating "Reasonable Accommodation of Persons with Disabilities in New Zealand" (2022), as two books that were independently published. We also publish articles and columns, as well as digests of individual human rights cases or regarding specific human rights issues.

We try to introduce human rights conventions in language that Taiwanese are familiar with. As such, we continue to receive positive feedback from citizen groups, legal practitioners, schools, and government units on our practical practices and results of the work of United Nations treaty bodies in handling individual complaint cases.

Organize civil society groups to participate in the review of the convention

By cooperating with civil society groups to submit parallel reports and parallel responses, holding pre-review meetings with review committees. Support civil society groups to participate in on-site review meetings, translate daily information updates, and integrate private draft concluding opinions.

Through translation, this can allow international experts to have a better grasp of the challenges Taiwan faces in terms of human rights, so that their opinions and input can be helpful for civil society. This can be a way of using human rights conventions to provide oversight over the government's implementation of human rights and strengthen advocacy.

Advocate and provide oversight over national human rights mechanisms

Through twenty years of advocacy, Taiwan's National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was formally established in 2020. In 2021, the Covenants Watch along with other civil society groups held an oversight meeting, attempting that the NHRC could become an independent mechanism for promoting human rights in accordance with the Paris Accords.

Associated Events
Participation in the Review Meeting of the ROC’s Second Report under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
In 2021, we convened a press conference for civilian oversight on the first anniversary of the establishment of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
Participation in the 2020 ANNI Regional Consultation
80 NGOs that participated in the Review Meeting of the ROC’s Second Report under the ICCPR and ICESCR convened a joint post-meeting press briefing
Press Conference for the Establishment of the Covenants Watch in 2009