Fri, May 13, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Human trafficking prevention praised

Staff Writer, with CNA

Taiwan has been one of the few countries that deserves recognition for its efforts to eliminate cross-border human trafficking, two US experts said in Taipei yesterday.

The two researchers, who are commissioned by the US Department of State, paid a visit to the National Immigration Agency, where they said Taiwan was listed as one of the top three countries to have effectively combated human trafficking.

The other two are Colombia and Italy, according to Meredith Dank and Colleen Owens from the Urban Institute, who spoke during a meeting with National Immigration Agency Director-General Hsieh Li-kung (謝立功).

They will also visit other government agencies, including the Ministry of Justice and the Council of Labor Affairs, during their stay in Taiwan, in an effort to better understand how the government and Non-government organizations protect victims and collaborate to fight human trafficking.

Hsieh said the administration’s efforts on trafficking prevention over the past few years had proved very successful and welcomed US recognition.

The US State Department’s “Trafficking in Persons” Report for last year listed Taiwan as a “tier 1” country — meaning that it fully complied with the minimum standards laid out in the US Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, Hsieh said.

According to the report, Taiwanese authorities took various corrective measures to fight trafficking in 2009, including banning for-profit marriage brokerage firms and implementing the Human Trafficking Prevention Act (人口販運防制法), which took effect in June that year.

Those efforts helped Taiwan regain the top tier rating after it fell to “tier 2” in 2005 and then dropped another notch to the “tier 2 watch list” in 2006. Taiwan regained “tier 2” status in 2007.

Hsieh said Taiwan’s efforts were enhanced after the Human Trafficking Prevention Act was passed, with the introduction of stiffer penalties for traffickers, as well as protection and compensation for victims.

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