Taipei says first tickets issued over breaches to Public Breastfeeding Act
By Lauly Li, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taipei City Department of Health (DOH) yesterday said it has issued three tickets for two incidents in breach of the Public Breastfeeding Act (PBA).
August 20, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
One breach of the act, which forbids interference with a woman breast-feeding a child, occurred in the National Palace Museum and another in a restaurant in Miramar Entertainment Park.
Lin Li-ju (林莉茹), a DOH official, said that in August 2012 a female staff member with the National Palace Museum forced a woman who was breast-feeding her infant in the museum to leave. According to the DOH, the staff member told the mother that it was inappropriate to breast-feed in public.
Lin said the DOH issued a NT$6,000 fine ticket to the staff member, and anther ticket to the National Palace Museum — worth NT$6,000 — for not educating and supervising its staff.
The DOH said the National Palace Museum incident was Taiwan's first fine related to violation of the Public Breastfeeding Act.
Lin said that in July a female staff member of a restaurant in Miramar Entertainment Park in Dazhi interfered with a woman as she was breast-feeding saying “this is inappropriate in public, you should go to a toilet.” The mother later reported the incident to Miramar management.
The DOH said it has investigated the case in Miramar and discovered that the restaurant had trained their staff about the PBA, so therefore the DOH only fined the staff member NT$6,000.
The DOH said the act, which took effect in 2010, states that no one can forbid, eject, or interfere with a woman who is breast-feeding her child in public, noting that the woman's right to choose where to breast-feed should not be restricted by the fact that the public place has set up a breastfeeding room. The DOH said those found to have violated the PBA face fines of between NT$6,000 and NT$30,000.
The DOH said the department inspected the breast-feeding rooms in 393 public areas in Taipei between January and June, noting that eight of the public areas failed to satisfy breast-feeding room standards, but were later improved sufficiently to meet standards following DOH requests.