Sat, Jan 02, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Stateless child in Hinchu recieves ROC citizenship

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

A stateless sixth-grader in Hsinchu County born to illegal immigrants from Indonesia has finally secured Republic of China (ROC) nationality.

Hsinchu County Commissioner Chiu Ching-chun (邱鏡淳) presented Huang Shih-han (黃詩涵) with her new ROC identification card on Thursday.

Huang has been in the custody of her Indonesian “aunt” Hsu Ru-ya (許如亞) who was married to a Taiwanese man more than 20 years ago, since her parents were repatriated in 1997. As her birth certificate identified her parents as Indonesians, the 13-year-old girl has been unable to obtain a national ID card.

At Hsu’s request, Fuhsing Elementary School in Hsinchu County agreed to admit her when she turned seven and the school then sought help from the county government to give Huang an ID card so she could qualify for formal admission to the school and national health insurance coverage.

Over the past five years, the county government repeatedly asked the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) to help resolve the issue, but to no avail.

Because Huang will soon graduate from elementary school, she wrote to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) early this year seeking his help.

In the letter, she said: “Without an ID card, I cannot see a doctor and have to buy drugs from stores when I am sick and I will be unable to enter junior high school ... Mr President, can you help me? If I can get an ID card, I will definitely study hard to return your kind-hearted help.”

The letter must have touched a nerve, because the National Immigration Agency’s (NIA) Hsinchu branch received in May last year a notice from the MOI instructing it to assist Huang.

The branch first asked Indonesia’s representative office in Taipei to issue a certificate proving that Huang was not an Indonesian citizen so that she could apply for residency in Taiwan as a stateless person.

After that, the NIA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs attempted to track down Huang’s parents, but discovered that the names her parents used were faked so that they could not be found.

Also See: EDITORIAL : Taiwan: Sanctuary then and now

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