Taiwan Youth Overseas Service
Following personnel reductions in Taiwan’s armed forces during the 1990s, the Ministry of the Interior began to study the feasibility of domestic alternatives to military service. In January 2000, the government passed the Enforcement Statute for Substitute Services, allowing Taiwanese men to perform their national service at Taiwanese government and nongovernmental, social, community service, and environmental agencies.
This initial program was given a new slant in August 2000 when it was expanded to cover diplomatic, overseas alternatives to military service, resulting in the formation of a new corps of “peace volunteers” to work with personnel at Taiwan’s overseas technical and medical missions. The TaiwanICDF enthusiastically embraced this move and was granted responsibility for overseeing the service.
The creation of this Overseas Substitute Service was a milestone in Taiwan’s diplomatic history and augmented the TaiwanICDF’s efforts to advance international development. Young servicemen with promise and much-needed skills now had the opportunity to serve their country at one of our overseas missions, in lieu of performing military service.
The service was formally renamed the “Taiwan Youth Overseas Service” in early 2003 and has proven to be a productive and peaceful use of national resources. Over the years, successive groups of servicemen have brought new expertise and fresh enthusiasm to TaiwanICDF missions and Taiwanese embassies and representative offices around the world. To date, servicemen have been dispatched to 21 partner countries.
Operation of the Taiwan Youth Overseas Service
Benefits of the Taiwan Youth Overseas Service
Ultimately, the operations of the Taiwan Youth Overseas Service are designed to nurture talent and satisfy Taiwan’s future needs for human resources with diplomatic knowledge and technical specialties. Giving servicemen an opportunity to work abroad allows an ever-growing number of Taiwanese citizens to understand and participate directly in Taiwan’s international development work.