Fri, Mar 26, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Premier promises to crack down on human trafficking

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) pledged yesterday to crack down on human trafficking as part of government’s efforts to improve human rights protection and maintain public order.

Wu said in a weekly Cabinet meeting that since 2006, the government has taken various measures against human trafficking, including the introduction of a law on human trafficking prevention and control, cracking down on related crimes and strengthening protection for victims.

In addition, the government has also provided more assistance to foreign spouses, reviewed policies toward foreign workers and strengthened the regulation of labor brokers, he said.

Last’ year’s Trafficking in Persons Report by the US Department of State, gave Taiwan a Tier 2 ranking, a classification that indicates a government is making significant efforts to meet the minimum standards for eliminating trafficking as prescribed by the US law that guides anti-human trafficking efforts — the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.

The report said Taiwan has made some progress in combating human trafficking over the past year, but should do much more, including extending labor protection to all categories of workers to prevent labor trafficking.

According to a report delivered by the Ministry of the Interior at the Cabinet meeting, judicial authorities uncovered 88 cases of human trafficking last year. While 46 of the cases involved labor exploitation, the other 42 cases involved sexual exploitation. A total of 355 local people were indicted in 118 human trafficking cases.

The ministry said that in the future it will require law enforcement officers to better identify victims so that they can be provided with proper protection.

The ministry will continue to support the shelter and protection services provided by authorized civic groups and will also expand its crackdown on human trafficking.

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