The Legislative Yuan passed the National Human Rights Museum Organization Act proposed by the Executive Yuan on Nov. 28, greenlighting the establishment of the museum after six years of preparation.
Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun expressed her gratitude to the Legislative Yuan for passing the law before the International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, and thanked the political victims who participated in the process.
Minister Cheng noted that the Taiwanese society, especially the politically persecuted, have waited 15 years for the establishment of the museum.
The process began in 2002 – encompassing the establishment of the Preparatory Office of the National Human Rights Memorial Hall, registration of Jing-mei Human Rights Memorial and Cultural Park as a historical building, inauguration of Green Island Human Rights Memorial and Cultural Park, and the establishment of the Preparatory Office of the National Human Rights Museum.
Minister Cheng also thanked the Executive Yuan for designating the museum as a tier-three government agency that will lead contemporary Taiwanese society to face history, contemplate on the past, and look to the future.
In the future, the museum will work on preserving, researching, and displaying historical documents and cultural relics stemming from the authoritarian regime. It will also promote education and international exchanges, and support the development of human rights organizations to show Taiwan’s determination in pursuing democracy and human rights.
According to the organization act, the museum will comprise of the Division of Display and Education, the Division of Public Services, and a newly established Collection, Research, and Archive Center. The existing Jing-mei and Green Island cultural parks will also be renamed as the White Terror Memorial Park.
In addition to managing the Jing-mei and Green Island sites, the museum will network with international human rights organizations to highlight the universal values of democracy, freedom, and justice.
Director Chen Chun-hung (陳俊宏) of the preparatory office noted that the museum has already began its core tasks of collection, research, display, and education.
The purpose of establishing the museum is to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past and deepen the concepts of democracy and human rights in every individual mind. Thus, the key missions of the museum are to implement human rights education in schools, facilitate dialogue with domestic and international human rights organizations, turn past mistakes and pains into power to safeguard freedom and peace in Taiwan, and secure the development of human rights.
Director Chen also explained that this year’s International Human Rights Day will mark the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Jing-mei Human Rights and Memorial Cultural Park, making it even more significant to pass the act right before Dec. 10.
The museum will hold events to celebrate human rights and invite political victims and students to the Jing-mei Human Rights and Memorial Cultural Park on International Human Rights Day.
For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/2017.human.rights.day/.