Sat, Feb 24, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Fewer migrant workers missing: Ministry of Labor

Staff writer, with CNA

Off-duty migrant fishermen play basketball on Jan. 31 at Kaohsiung’s Cianjhen Fishing Port.

Photo: Chang Chung-yi, Taipei Times

The number of unaccounted-for migrant workers declined to 18,209 last year, or 2.78 percent of the total, a record low since 2003, according to Ministry of Labor statistics released on Thursday.

The number of foreign workers who are unaccounted for remained stable at between 3 and 4 percent for a number of years. However, it has seen a significant decline over the past three years and hit a new low last year.

While the total number of foreign workers reached 676,142 last year, the number of unaccounted- for workers dropped to a record low of 2.78 percent of the total, the statistics showed.

Based on the ministry’s data, 18,209 amounted to only 2.69 percent of 676,142, not 2.78 percent as the ministry’s report said.

The ministry said it has its own way of calculating the “unaccounted” rate.

In 2016, the number of foreign workers whose whereabouts were unknown after leaving their official place of employment stood at 21,708, or 3.59 percent of the total.

Ministry Workforce Development Agency official Hsueh Chien-chung (薛鑑忠) attributed the decline to the introduction of an amendment to the Employment Services Act (就業服務法), which removed the requirement for migrant workers to leave Taiwan every three years, along with the government’s intensified operations against illegal and absconding workers.

As of last year, the number of missing migrant workers totaled 52,317, with Vietnamese workers registering the highest rate at 5.12 percent, followed by Indonesians at 2.91 percent and Filipinos and Thais at 0.37 percent each.

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