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"My Name, My Right": Taiwanese Sue Norwegian Government at European Court of Human Rights over Nationality

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上架日:2021/05/24
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2021/05/24
"My Name, My Right": Taiwanese Sue Norwegian Government at European Court of Human Rights over Nationality
"My Name, My Right": Taiwanese Sue Norwegian Government at European Court of Human Rights over Nationality

"My Name, My Right": Taiwanese Sue Norwegian Government at European Court of Human Rights over Nationality Since 2010, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration("UDI")has forcibly registered the nationality of Taiwanese residing in Norway as "Chinese." A group of Taiwanese students in Norway thus launched a campaign to reclaim their Taiwanese nationality, and took the Norwegian government to court, claiming that they have violated their legal right of personal identity - which should be protected as basic human rights. After the lawsuit was rejected by the supreme court in Norway last November, Joseph, the leader of the campaign, had taken the case from Norway to the whole of Europe and filed a lawsuit on May 6 to the European Court of Human Rights in France against the Norwegian government for human rights violations. If this lawsuit wins, it would be the first time for the European Court of Human Rights to make a decision related to the "National Identity.”

Since the European Court of Human Rights is binding on the 47 member states that have signed the European Convention on Human Rights, it means that these countries could no longer register Taiwanese citizens as "Chinese." This would have a huge impact on the future of Taiwanese citizens in European countries. Right to Personal Identity v.s. One China Principle The lawsuit comes at a time when China is tightening its narrative on Taiwan on the International stage, forcing multiple global companies to list Taiwan as “Taiwan, Province of China,” and to block Taiwan out of the World Health Assembly despite the country’s stellar record on containing COVID-19. However, the Taiwanese students in Norway well understand China’s strong economic and political power in promoting its “one-China principle“ worldwide. “By requesting the Norwegian government to correctly register our nationality as Taiwanese, we have no intention to challenge its diplomatic prerogative to decide whether to recognise Taiwan as a State or to hamper the pursuit of its best national interests,” said Joseph, “Our only hope is that our right to be treated and recognised as nationals of Taiwan could be respected by the State of residence like our Taiwanese compatriots residing in many other European countries.” Joseph emphasized that it is the practice of many European countries to recognise Taiwanese nationality in their residency documentation without diplomatically recognising Taiwan. In fact, even Norway used to recognise the citizenship of Taiwanese nationals in their residency permits before 2010. Professor Jill Marshall of the Department of Law and Criminology at Royal Holloway College, University of London, said that how a person's identity is recorded on official documents is a very important matter. It simplifies the complex question of "who we are" into a few words on a document, which may affect people's rights. “The Applicants are Taiwanese: failing to state this on their official documentation and instead ascribing them with an incorrect nationality misidentifies them and violates their right to personal identity.

It is only just and fair that the European Court of Human Rights acknowledges the violation that has occurred,” said Professor Marshall, who is also the author of “Human Rights Law and Personal Identity.” “I hope Taiwanese voices can be heard by the world” Bringing the case to the European Court of Human Rights means that it is now concerning not just Norway, but many other countries in Europe as well. For Joseph, he believes it is good timing to raise awareness throughout Europe regarding Taiwan’s issue. Support and sympathy for Taiwan are gaining feet in Europe as Taiwan emerged as one of the most successful countries in combating COVID-19. And as more and more foreign media outlets retreat from Hong Kong to Taiwan due to concerns of the National Security Law, the island also gets a chance to showcase itself as the beacon of freedom and democracy in the region. It’s been three years since the Taiwanese students in Norway first filed the lawsuit against the Norwegian government. For them, this lawsuit is no longer just a simple legal case, but a bottom-up movement with strong support from the Taiwanese society. “Through this lawsuit, I hope the international community can discuss more the issue of Taiwanese Identity,” said Joseph, “and more Taiwanese voices can be heard by the world.” Along with more 30 other Taiwanese Diaspora groups around the world, Taiwan Ireland Association supports this campaign.
more OCAC News, welcome to OCACNEWS.NET.

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