Thu, Nov 16, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Premier asks ministry to combat human smuggling

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday asked the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) to work harder to prevent human smuggling.

"The law must be strictly enforced," Su said. "How serious human smuggling is will reflect the level of our determination to protect human rights in this country."

The premier made the remarks during yesterday morning's weekly Cabinet meeting, after the ministry said that the US Department of State had downgraded Taiwan's performance in controlling human smuggling.

Vice Minister of the Interior Chien Tai-lang (簡太郎) promised the premier that his ministry "would do whatever it could" to achieve the eradication of human smuggling and review all relevant laws.

"We should strengthen cooperation between ministries to prevent [human smuggling], protect victims and indict those who run smuggling operations," Chien said.

Su asked the MOI to periodically report on its progress on the issue, "so that the public and our foreign allies will understand what the government has been doing."

Su also asked MOI officials not to find excuses for failure but to find ways to achieve success.

Face the music

"We want to face the difficulties instead of running away," he said.

Cabinet Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) added that the Government Information Office "may also do something about the issue."

"For instance, on late night TV you can still see a lot of Vietnamese girls profiled. Some of these ads are just commercials for unscrupulous human traders," Cheng said.

"Maybe we should ban these kinds of ads," Cheng added.

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