Gender News in Taiwan
Freedom forum to return to Taiwan in September

The Oslo Freedom Forum is to be held in Taipei on Sept. 13 with a focus on information warfare, cybersecurity and human rights for transgender people.

The forum was held in Taiwan for the first time in November last year.

Holding two consecutive forums in Taiwan is symbolic, as human rights, freedom and democracy have continued to be important issues in Asia, said Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer of the Human Rights Foundation, the organizer of the human rights forum.

“It is time to unite and support [Asian] regional democracy,” he said after commenting on protests in Hong Kong and Taiwan’s presidential election to be held in January next year, as well as growing authoritarianism in China, Thailand and Vietnam.

Forum speakers are to include Hong Kong singer and democracy advocate Denise Ho (何韻詩), Kenyan transgender advocate Audrey Mbugua, Thai education reform advocate Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal, Burmese Pulitzer Prize winner Esther Htusan, former North Korean diplomat Thae Yong-ho and Molly McKew, a writer specializing in information warfare, the organizer said.

The one-day event is to feature talks, interactive exhibits, seminars, music performances and social functions, it added.

The foundation said it hopes that the event would help bring the Asian community together to fight for human rights and would help connect activists from different nations.

“We hope to make the world a more prosperous, free and peaceful place,” it said.

The forum was founded by the US-based foundation in 2009. The main event is held annually in Oslo, the city where Nobel Peace Prizes are awarded.

Taipei is the second destination for the forum this year, followed by one held in Norway in May, signifying Taiwan’s leading role in the region for freedom and democracy, the foundation said.

[Taipei Times, 2019-07-13]

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