16 May 2022

Safeguard Defenders opens Taiwan office

We are pleased to announce the opening of our first Asian office in Taiwan’s capital, Taipei.

With our focus on the decline in human rights in China and other authoritarian states in the region, Taiwan was an obvious choice because of its open society and geographic proximity. Only recently emerging from its own authoritarian past, this progressive democracy has now become a popular base for civil society and media, particularly as Hong Kong’s human rights situation rapidly deteriorates under Beijing’s control.

Safeguard Defenders is a human rights NGO founded in late 2016 that undertakes and supports local field activities that contribute to the protection of basic rights, promote the rule of law and enhance the ability of local civil society and human rights defenders in some of the most hostile environments in Asia. 

Safeguard Defenders is running about a dozen programs in target countries. From our small head office in Madrid, Spain we work with local partners, who include teachers, lawyers, local independent media organizations and civil society organizations engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights and the rule of law. 

We have been researching developing rule of law issues including arbitrary detention, the black jail systems of RSDL and Liuzhi, forced confessions, transnational repression including global harassment and kidnappings, and the CCP’s secret police institution, the National Supervisory Commission.

Relevant to Taiwan, our work on China’s transnational repression has covered Taiwanese nationals overseas illegally forced to go to China, rather than be returned to their home country and the practice of imposing exit bans on Taiwanese freed from jail. 

Coming in the next few months, we will have several key and ground-breaking reports on China on issues including the practice of sending political prisoners to psychiatric hospitals, the latest violations of human rights in the name of Covid, and how Beijing has weaponized exit bans. We will also be launching a brand new website. Please sign up for our (irregular) newsletter to get our alerts or follow us on Twitter. 

Our Taipei office is located downtown in Zhongzheng District, not far from the political heart of the city. We look forward to connecting to more human rights focused NGOs in Taiwan and promoting the rule of law and helping human rights defenders in the world’s worst dictatorships.