Speakers at an international workshop on fighting human trafficking in Taipei yesterday praised Taiwan for its efforts to combat human trafficking in recent years.
Speakers from Australia, Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia gathered at the one-day workshop, organized by the National Immigration Agency, to discuss forced labor issues and their efforts in cracking down on human trafficking.
Brent Christensen, deputy director of the Taipei Office of the American Institute in Taiwan, said Taiwan had achieved “significant improvements” in its efforts to combat human trafficking in recent years.
“For example, it has imposed heavier penalties on human traffickers, stepped up education of its prosecutors and judges, and established multi-language hotlines for foreign workers to report illegal conduct,” Christensen said.
He added that the US supports the passing of a domestic workers protection act in Taiwan, which would extend protection to the nearly 200,000 foreign domestic workers and caregivers in the country and an unknown number of Taiwanese.
Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said at the opening of the workshop that Taiwan adopted and implemented two UN human rights covenants in 2009.
It has also received a Tier 1 ranking in the Trafficking in Persons Report compiled by the US Department of State for three consecutive years since 2010, he said, which he described as the result of a joint effort between people from Taiwan and abroad.
The National Immigration Agency said it hoped the workshop, which was attended by more than 100 participants, would enhance collaboration between the Taiwanese government and international non-governmental organizations.
Among the speakers was Anne Gallagher, leader of the Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons Project, funded by the Australian Agency for International Development.
She was named a “2012 Trafficking in Persons Report Hero” by the US government for her work in the global fight against human trafficking.
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