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Taiwan: Proposed Amendment to Teachers Act Addresses on Sexual Assaults

(May 4, 2009) On April 20, 2009, the Education and Culture Committee of Taiwan's Legislative Yuan approved a preliminary review of a proposal on an amendment to the Teachers Act (promulgated on Aug. 9, 1995; last amended on May 24, 2006) that would give schools the authority to fire teachers found guilty of sexually assaulting a student by a school's gender equality committee. Current legislation stipulates that only those teachers who have been sentenced to one year of imprisonment, convicted of corruption, deprived of their civil rights by a court, or deemed incompetent or who are wanted by the police, among other reasons, can be fired. (Flora Wang, Committee Passes Amendment to Fire Teachers for Assault, TAIPEI TIMES, Apr. 21, 2009, at 3, available at; Teachers Act [in Chinese], Laws and Regulations Database of the Republic of China, (last visited Apr. 30, 2009).)

Ministry of the Interior statistics indicate that between 2006 and 2008 there were 288 cases of sexual assault in schools, in which about 68 percent of the victims were minors. In the first quarter of 2009, there were four reported cases of sexual assault on campuses in southern Taiwan, “but three of the teachers were still able to receive half of their salary after being suspended” according to legislator Chao Li-yun. (Wang, supra.) In 18 sexual assault cases on campuses since 2005 involving alleged assaults by 16 teachers against 49 students, which the Human Education Foundation has helped handle, only nine of the teachers were fired, Executive Director Joanna Feng stated. She “urged the Ministry of Education to require that schools report sexual assault cases to the ministry and suspend or fire school principals found to have concealed cases.” (Id.)

The Human [Humanistic] Education Foundation is “a private, non-profit organization dedicated to the development of human-centered education in Taiwan”; it focuses on identifying problems in contemporary education, promoting ideas for alternative education, and creating a forum for discussion of the purpose and methods of education. (Mission Statement, The Humanistic Education Foundation website, (last visited Apr. 30, 2009).)