Taiwan’s Road to an Asylum Law

Key information

Russell Square: College Buildings

About this event

Kristina Kironska
*Please be aware that this session follows British Summer Time (BST) .


Taiwan is considered to be one of the most progressive countries in Asia but has no asylum law. Does it need one? Many in Taiwan, including officials and politicians, claim that the regulations that are currently in place are sufficient. There are, however, some people in Taiwan who require protection, and the government is not able to respond effectively in the absence of an asylum law. The author has identified several different groups in Taiwan that would benefit from an asylum law – from Hong Kong protesters facing persecution, through Chinese dissidents or descendants of the ROC army from the Thai-Myanmar border region, to Turkish people with revoked passports; grouped into two major categories – persons from the PRC, Tibet, Hong Kong (group1), and Macau, and persons from other countries group 2). The draft of the asylum law has been sitting in the Parliament for 14 years, and the reason for it not yet having passed is the “China Factor”. The Taiwan-China relationship thus cannot be disconnected from this issue, and the article discusses the three most common concerns with regard to this in the Taiwanese society. While these are legitimate concerns, they could be solved by adopting a dual asylum system dealing with group 1 and group 2 separately. Compared to UN member countries, Taiwan is on its own when it comes to the asylum issue, although adopting an asylum law is part of a broader push to bring Taiwan’s legal system in line with international human rights law.

Speaker Bio

Kristina Kironska is a socially engaged interdisciplinary academic with experience in Myanmar Studies, Taiwan Affairs, CEE-China Relations, human rights, election observation, and advocacy. She worked for Amnesty International, lectured at the University of Taipei and organized monthly human rights talks in Taipei. Currently she is conducting research within the Sinophone Borderlands project administered by the Palacky University Olomouc (Czechia). She is also the Advocacy Director at the Central European Institute of Asian Studies, and a Board Member of Amnesty International Slovakia. She can be reached at kironska@ceias.eu .

Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies

Contact email: hl55@soas.ac.uk