US Congress Members, Human Rights Watch, Rights Groups Urge Taiwan to Ensure Justice for Vietnamese Victims of FPG pollution

Media Advisory

For Immediately Release

US Congress Members, Human Rights Watch, Rights Groups Urge Taiwan to Ensure   Justice for Vietnamese Victims of FPG pollution

The Monitor Formosa Alliance will hold a press conference on Dec.2nd, 2022 at 9:20am, Taipei Time at the Legislative Yuan to call upon the Taiwanese government to lower or remove legal barriers for the victims of Formosa Plastics Group’s (FPG) devastating marine pollution in Vietnam in 2016, so that they can have access to justice in Taiwan. Joining the Alliance online are US Congressman Alan Lowenthal, Congressman Christopher H. Smith (TBC), Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (TBC) Human Rights Watch Deputy Asia Director Phil Robertson (Video), Covenants Watch representative (Video), Bishop Paul Nguyen Thai Hop, Vietnamese environmental and human rights defenders who fled the country having suffered political persecution.  

Taiwan legislators: Chiu Hsien-chih (New Power Party), Yun Fan (Democratic Progressive Party) (TBD), Freddy Lim (Independent) (TBD)

At the press conference, they will read out a letter of intervention sent by seven members of the US Congress to the Taiwanese government in which they urged the Taiwanese government to uphold the human rights of the Vietnamese victims.

Time: 9:20 am Dec. 2nd, Taipei Time. (8:20pm Dec. 1st, Washington DC Time).

Location: Online and in-person at the Legislative Yuan

Monitor Formosa Alliance members: Environmental Rights Foundation, Environmental Jurists Association, Vietnamese Migrant Workers and Immigrants Office, Justice for Formosa Victims, Taiwan Association of Human Rights, Covenants Watch, Vietnamese bishop and priest, academics, and human rights defenders.

Case background: In 2016, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation (FHS), a subsidiary of Formosa Plastics Group (FPG) discharged toxic wastewater in central Vietnam, causing mass fish deaths and sickness among people who ate the fish or came in close contact with the toxic substances. It devastated local livelihoods and the environment, and then triggered a series of human rights violations as the Vietnamese government began to crack down on peaceful demonstrations. FHS admitted wrongdoing and paid 500 million USD to the Vietnamese government as compensation but victims either received very little or none. Having been beaten, arrested, harassed and imprisoned for attempting to access justice in Vietnamese courts, 7,874 victims turned to Taiwan and filed a civil lawsuit against FHS, FPG and their directors in 2019 with assistance from Taiwanese lawyers and human rights and environmental organisations.

In 2022, Taiwan’s Supreme Court confirmed the jurisdiction of Taiwanese courts and allowed the lawsuit to continue to substantive proceedings for a small number of plaintiffs who are located in Taiwan. For the majority of the plaintiffs who reside overseas, the court asked that they have their Power of Attorney documents authenticated at Taiwan’s de facto embassies. However, per requirements set by Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry for document authentication in Vietnam, the person must first go through the Vietnamese authorities, including an official notary and the Vietnamese foreign ministry before they can have their POA authenticated at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices in Vietnam. This move will no doubt put them and their families in grave danger. This unreasonable requirement is in itself an act of revictimization.


  • Mimi Hsin Hsuan Sun: +886 912 435 720
  • Khanh Nguyen: (703) 489-7839