After the speech in Åbo Akademi University, a group picture of all the scholars from the Faculty of Social Science, Business, and Economics was taken （From left to right: Prof. Pamela Slotte, Dean Marko Joas, Prof. Jolan Hsieh, Prof. Magdalena Kmak, and Dr. Inga Saikkonen）
Intercollegiate Cooperation Setting foot in Finland to Have an Academic Exchange on International Human Rights
Professors of National Dong Hwa University （NDHU）, Dr. William Hui-Yen Hsu （徐揮彥，Chairperson of Institute of Financial and Economic law in College of Humanity and Social Science） and Dr. Jolan Hsieh / Bavaragh Dagalomai （謝若蘭，Director, Center of International Indigenous Affairs in College of Indigenous Studies） , were invited to participate in series of international human rights forums as well as academic exchanges to Finland at the University of Helsinki and Åbo Akademi University in Truku early this month. Their visit and exchanges with local universities have enhanced the possibility of further partnerships and cooperation.
Visiting the Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism in University of Helsinki （From left to right in first row: Prof. Suvi Keskinen, Prof. Jolan Hsieh. From left to right in the second row: Prof. Reetta Toivanen, Prof. Magdalena Kmak, Prof. Nora Fabritius, and Prof. William Hui-Yen Hsu）
Professor Hsu is a famous scholar specializing in international human rights law. Professor Hsieh, Siraya Nation of Taiwanese Indigenous scholars and activist, has been dedicated to advocating for indigenous international issues. They both had been invited to University of Helsinki’s Department of Minority Studies and Chinese Law Center for a special lecture. In addition, the two professors had a thorough and in-depth discussion and exchange with the scholars, teachers and students from the Center for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism（CEREN）, and Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science （HELSUS） talking about the issues such as self-identification within minority groups, discrimination against different ethnic groups, giving humanitarian aid to the refugees, and philosophy of indigenous sustainability. A couple of well-known Finish Sami scholars also participated in HELSUS Roundtable, including Dr. Pigga Keskitalo and Dr. Hanna Guttorm who both are also hopeful candidate of Sami Parliament members.
Both professors also traveled to Åbo Akademi University’s the Institute for Human Rights. They had academic lectures on the present status of Indigenous peoples in Taiwan and its development and implementation after Taiwan signed “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights （ICCPR）” and “International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights （ICESCR）.” More specifically, Professor Hsu took the extension case of Asia Cement Corporation for example, to expound on several recent convictions being affirmed on the principles of The Indigenous Peoples Basic Law and spirits of ICCPR & ICESCR. The more possible implementation of indigenous justice is therefore seen. Professor Hsieh, on the other hand, critically examined the government’s implementation of indigenous rights from land, self-government, recognition the identity of PingPu indigenous group, nuclear waste storage on Orchid Island, bringing historical justice and transitional justice into the future policy direction of this country, education to language based on the president Tsai Ing-wen’s apology which was officially issued to the indigenous peoples in 2016. International Human Rights puts a lot emphasis on international comparative analysis; therefore, with Prof. Hsu and Hsieh’s participation in many lectures, a number of scholars from all over the world struck up a lot of fruitful discussions and sharing.
Two professors of Finnish academic unit named Reetta Toivanen and Magdalena Kmak who paid a visit to NDHU last year and came back with a full understanding of the traits of related colleges and departments and a willingness of further cooperation sent out their invitation. Therefore, this invitation of academic exchanges to Professor Hsu and Hsieh had been sent to them along with an interest of planning the partnership. Professor Reetta Toivanen is currently recommended by Professor Hsieh to take part in Conference on Climate Change, Indigenous Resilience and Local Knowledge Systems: Cross-time and Cross-boundary Perspectives held by Research Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Ministry of Science and Technology as one of keynote speakers. “Academic cooperation is one of very important values for Indigenous Nations around the world, because indigenous knowledge system should be shared for betterment of human society.” said Professor Hsieh. Center of International Indigenous Affairs and Economic Law are now co-planning more future academic exchanges and visits with a vision of laying a foundation for stronger cooperation between solid partnerships on both parties.
Full Context：National Dong Hwa University