The precursor of the Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada was the Committee of Human Rights in Formosa (加拿大台灣人權委員會), founded in 1964 by exiles barred from returning to their homeland.  Today, THRAC continues its work for human rights in Taiwan, China, and Canada.


The Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada (THRAC) was established on March 23, 1991 in Toronto, Canada.  It was transformed from the ‘Yih-Sheh Leo Support Committee’, a rescue group working on the release of Yih-Sheh (Columbus) Leo, an Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience.  Leo, a Canadian citizen who immigrated from Taiwan at age of 14, returned to Taiwan in 1989 to support Taiwan’s democratization and independence.  He was arrested, beaten and put in prison.  Through the coordinated efforts of international supports, Leo was released and returned to Toronto just before Christmas in 1990.

THRAC Executive, 1991
(Rear) Columbus Leo, Lin Wen-cheng, Byron Chu,
Su Cheng-hian, Dennis Su, Sam Chang
(Front) Albert Lin, Pi-ling Lin, Harry Chen

由左至右,前排 林哲夫 碧玲及陳星旭
後排:羅益世 林文政朱寶山 蘇正玄蘇慶龍張理邦
Upon Leo’s release, the ‘Yih-Sheh Leo Support Committee’ decided instead of closing the group, to continue the rescue efforts in other human rights cases.  THRAC was born.  The founding president and vice president were Pi-Ling Lin (Leo’s wife) and Dr. Harry Chen (Leo Support Committee chair).  Dr. Shane Lee also prepared the legal documents and formally registered the organization with Canadian government.

Over the years, THRAC has organized many rallies, letter campaign, human rights awareness concerts, card design contests, and sponsored Taiwan aboriginal projects and election observation team to Taiwan.  THRAC has maintained close relationships with Human Rights Association in Taiwan, as well as Amnesty International, Tibetan and Uyghur groups, and CHRG.  Working together with other human rights organizations, THRAC thrive to work for human rights in Taiwan, China, and Canada

For more information, please contact THRAC at thracanada@gmail.com.

THRAC Executive meeting November 2011
(L-R) Meng-Ting Chen, Austin Yan, Daniel Liao, Michael Stainton, Su Cheng-hian, Kokki Yeh
(not in picture) Cathy Hong