News Letter from Taiwan League of Welfare Organizations for the Disabled.

Prohibition of developmentally and mentally disabled individuals from purchasing insurance policy is an act of discrimination.

The Article 25 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was ratified in 2007, states thatโ€œโ€ฆ Prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities in the provision of health insurance, and life insurance where such insurance is permitted by national law, which shall be provided in a fair and reasonable manner; Prevent discriminatory denial of health care or health services or food and fluids on the basis of disabilityโ€ฆโ€ The League of Welfare Organizations for the Disabled (TLWOD) discovered that the Taiwan Insurance Law Article107 has violated the convention.

Taiwan Insurance Law Article 107 states that โ€œWhere the insured is a minor under fourteen years of age, or mentally impaired, or of diminished mental capacity, the aggregate insured amount (not limited to that of this company) under funeral expense insurance applied for on or after 11 July 2001 shall not exceed the maximum amount for funeral expenses as set by the competent authority. This company is not liable for settlement of any amount in excess thereof, and shall refund without interest any insurance premiums already paid for such excess amount.

The Article 107 of the Insurance Law was ratified in 1963; in 1997, the Article was repealed due to the small percentage of cases filed. In 2001, Article 107 was passed again by some legislators, who insisted on such policy. The League of Welfare Organizations for the Disabled expresses that on its face Article 107 presents itself as a governmental โ€œprotectionโ€ of the citizens with disabilities, but in fact it has the effect of discriminating against the rights of the disabled citizens as a whole.

Insurance Law Article 107 classifies minors under fourteen years of age, people of mentally impaired, and people of diminished mental capacity into the same category of insurants. It shows that the Law intends to treat minors and people with mental disabilities as the same type of people, who are at a fragile mental state, incapable of differentiating situations and danger, and lack of abilities in decision making. Therefore, they tend to make โ€œmoral mistakes.โ€ The laws appear to provide protections, but for the truth to be told, the mindset behind such law enactment is embedded with discrimination and stereotyping people with mental and psychiatric disabilities.

Insurance Law Article 107 states legislative reasons directly โ€œโ€ฆ. to initiate an insurance contract may damage rights of such insurers.โ€ There is no empirical statistics to illustrate existence of such โ€œpossibilityโ€. For those insurers who are described as mentally impaired, or of diminished mental capacity status are forbidden to have life insured due to their risk of accidents and average lifespan varied from others. To be stated frankly, this article is set to damage insurance rights of persons with disability just because having stereo type attitude toward persons with disability and give them a discrimination treatment.

TLWOD commends that labeling persons who as mentally impaired, or of diminished mental capacity is originated from criminal law. The article 19 of criminal law was later amended as โ€˜mental challengedโ€™ or โ€˜intellectual challengedโ€™ in 2005. It means medical professionals should further assess the status of those persons. Judge will decide his cases according to assessment reports. Besides these comments, the barrier between status of mentally impaired, and diminished mental capacity exists a distinct variance. If we take the standpoints of protecting human safety, the law must be amended and the definition of wording should be clearly stated and narrowed down possibility of administration udgments.

TLWOD express a lobbing action is undertaken to legislation process. The organization would like to exchange experience with other countries.

Secretary General Yuling Wang, TLOWD

Note: Insurance Law Article 107 amendment has been proposed by legislator Uei-Zhei Huang under the legal process in Sep., 2009.

History of the League- LWOD

Since the announcement of Disability Welfare Law regulated by the government in 1980, it should be a gospel to all disable counterparts in terms of dignity and welfare benefits; however, the failed implementation by the government overshadowed such regulation and harms the disabled.

Owing to the fact, the diseased Miss Liu Hsia initiated and organized an Action Committee on Welfare Promotion Amendment in May 1989, recruited and participated by more than seventy disable groups, and then turned into National Alliance Association of Private Sector, aiming to fight for the human rights of the fellow disabled counterparts and endeavor in promoting an overall welfare strategy for the disabled, which was the preexistence of Disability Alliance of Republic of China.

The League of Welfare Organizations for the Disabled was registered on June 30, 1990 refer to Tai-Nei-She-Tzu-Ti No. 812474, with a focus on fighting the human rights and improving welfare benefits of the disabled, serving institute, group and community for the disable level all over Taiwan. From early on, there were more than seventy groups joint and gradually it account for two-third of the participated groups of the disabled nationwide, the membersโ€™ body even reached as far as the offshore islands of Penghu, Kinmen and Matzu.

There are many challenges stoned the growth way of persons with disability. We, persons with disability need more help and attention to gain independent lives with dignity. The legislative system, budgeting and service delivery play an direct impact to lives of persons with disability. It has be a major role that the League of Welfare Organizations for the Disabled to advocate, to monitor and to communicate between private and public sectors about disabled issues. This kind of task content matters to millions of peopleโ€™s rights, basic life quality. Any slice changing of the law may determine huge number of peopleโ€™s life. The scale of impact is definitely larger than direct personal service. This kind of task need long term endeavor.

Our Mission and Work

  1. Promoting human rights attitude of equity and elevating empowerment and capability of advocacy for persons with disability.
  2. Networking cooperating relationship and information network between organizations for persons with disability.
  3. Monitoring administration of government policy and law making about persons with disability.
  4. Supervising local and central government of Taiwan about budgeting for welfare service on persons with disability affairs.
  5. Pushing and managing process of government service delivery about education, heath, economic sustentation, support services, employment, barrier-free environment about persons with disability.
  6. To cooperate with public sectors on educating various professionals on affairs of persons with disability.
  7. To hold education programs on leadership and staff training for organizations of persons with disability.
  8. Developing various research projects on rights of persons with disability such as delivery service of support, independent living and welfare service.
  9. To adavance international relationship with foreign countries organizations on services of persons with disability and exchanging experience with them.
  10. Concerning other rights protection of persons with disability

Our future work objectives

  1. To improve rights and dignity of persons with disability.
  2. To increase education resource of persons with disability.
  3. To move forward on multi-employment services policy for persons with disability.
  4. To advocate independent services for persons with disability.
  5. To get economic security and protection for persons with disability.
  6. To push government to fulfill CRPD.
  7. To work on organization service computerized and networking membersโ€™service system.

Contact Us

Address๏ผš9F, No.281, Sec 3, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei City, 106747 R.O.C. (Taiwan)

Telephone๏ผš 886-2-23697110

Fax๏ผš 886-2-23697190

Website๏ผš http://www.enable.org.tw


Mailt from: trshieh@enable.org.tw

When: 7/2/2014

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