Sun, Jul 20, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Sociologists mull migration policy

COMING AND GOING The Control Yuan is exploring what kind of society the nation wants now that hordes of people from other countries are migrating to Taiwan


"The importation of 300,000 foreign laborers shows that recruiting overseas workers will be a permanent feature of the domestic labor market. But the government needs to map out a plan to attract more foreign manpower, other than blue-collar workers, to help the country upgrade its international competitiveness," he said.

It is imperative to study the incentives needed to attract international managers to this country as well as discussing institutionalizing regulation of migrant workers, the research fellow urged.

Sociologist Lan Pei-chia (藍佩嘉) echoed Tsay's view by giving weight to migrant laborers' human rights.

"The 300,000 migrant workers who have come to Taiwan since the 1990s prove that importing foreign workers will be a permanent feature of this country. This fact makes a debate about giving these people permanent citizenship possible," Lan, an assistant professor at National Taiwan University, said.

Lan said it was time for the country to review its treatment of migrant workers.

Lan predicted that the discussion would widen into a debate about whether migrant workers should enjoy the same freedom and respect that Taiwan offered other foreign employees such as English teachers or managers, including the flexible quotas and conditions for applying for citizenship.

"But that is not an excuse to play down such a debate since the country needs to update its ideas on providing legal protection to these workers' social and economic rights," Lan said.

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