After six years of preparation, the National Human Rights Museum officially opened on May 17, 2018 as the first museum that combines historic sites with national memories of an authoritarian regime in Asia.
President Tsai Ing-wen led the opening ceremony of the National Human Rights Museum at Green Island White Terror Memorial Park on May 17. In attendance were some 80-plus victims of political persecution and their relatives, who stood witness to this momentous milestone for human rights in Taiwan.
President Tsai expressed her hope that the museum would galvanize human rights education in Taiwan by raising more public awareness and helping government agencies in the promotion of such education.
She pointed out that this is the first museum in Asia dedicated to human rights built around sites that had been core to the violation of such rights, and that Taiwan will engage the world through human rights diplomacy to affirm how Taiwan is a country deeply committed to reflecting on and protecting these universal, inalienable rights.
Premier Lai Ching-teh remarked that authoritarian rule and the suppression of human rights are not experiences unique to Taiwan, and that he hopes the museum will be able to work with other such museums abroad to help Taiwan's story and the voice of her people be shared with people around the world.
The Premier unveiled a map of the world adorned with doves to mark the museum's establishment. He then highlighted Taiwan's position on the map to symbolize the nation's transformation into an important player in the global protection of human rights.
The museum's first mission is to become a resource center for human rights education, which includes offering various learning tools and teaching materials that will be integrated with the 12-year national curriculum.
Currently, the Judges Academy has held several workshops at the Green Island White Terror Memorial Park to improve civil servants' knowledge of human rights. In the future, the museum will also partner with local governments to protect sites of historic injustice and enhance public awareness of regional history.
The second goal is to build a research and archive center in collaboration with the National Archives Administration. Through collecting oral history and historical documents from political victims, the museum will restore the historical truth of the White Terror era and make public previously censored files to clarify the truth for those who were falsely accused during martial law.
The third goal is to develop the museum into a platform for cultural exchanges. The museum will build partnerships with international institutions that share similar negative history … (read more)