Tue, Feb 17, 2015 - Page 12 News List

Domestic slavery, Maid in Taiwan

Working long hours, physically and sexually abused, domestic workers have little recourse to legal protection in a system that favors brokers and their clients

By Joe Henley  /  Contributing reporter

“Sometimes they say, ‘Just be patient. You came to Taiwan to work, to earn money. Don’t complain so much.’ Most of the time they don’t do anything.”

So ineffectual is the hotline that it is often the SPA that ends up insisting that a case be filed with the labor ministry, and a formal investigation be conducted. So it’s not surprising that groups such as MKT are emerging. Workers are now seeking to put at least some power back in their own hands.


One of the ways they’ll demonstrate their resolve as at the One Billion Rising event in Taipei on Sunday, a gathering that seeks to highlight the exploitation of female migrant workers around the world, and hopes to serve as a vehicle for policy change that will see migrant workers both male and female better protected. The event, which will be a kind of dancing demonstration, will take place from 1:30pm to 5pm at Taipei Main Station, and has been organized by the Taiwan Chapter of Migrante International and Migranteng Ilonggo.

Though the MKT has been shut out of the organizational aspect of the event this year in what appears to be a bit of in-fighting between groups that, in the end, are working toward the same goal, the ladies of MKT will be out in force to show their support. In spite of their experiences, to a woman they maintain a sense of optimism that things will get better.

“I have hope,” Comida says, echoing the sentiments of her fellow MKT members. “I know not all Taiwanese are the same.”

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