Human trafficking is on the rise in Taiwan, but public awareness of the issue is sadly lacking, a conference on combating human trafficking held in Taipei said yesterday.
Taiwan was placed on the "Tier 2 Watch List" in the US Department of State's 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report for "failure to show evidence of increasing efforts over the past year to address trafficking."
Human trafficking was defined by featured guest speaker Florrie Burke as a "crime or violation against a person," that "contains element of coercion" and leads to "subsequent exploitation or forced labor."
Burke is a senior director at Safe Horizon, a crime and abuse victim support group in New York.
Human-rights activist Reverend Peter Nguyen Van Hung, a 48-year-old priest, told the stories of some of the victims that he had worked with.
There was the case of a 19-year-old Vietnamese man who signed a contract to work in Tai-wan as a caretaker and promised to pay US$5,000 to the broker.
After arriving in Taiwan, however, the Vietnamese man was sent to work in a factory. The broker took his salary each month as payment for his debt. Seven months later, the Vietnamese died in an accident.
"He didn't even get a cent [from his salary]," Nguyen said.
Another girl approached Nguyen once, telling him that her employer had raped her repeatedly.
When Nguyen offered her help, she turned it down because she was afraid of retaliation from her employer.
"She went back, knowing she would be raped again that night," Nguyen said.
Nguyen has run a human trafficking victim shelter in Taoyuan County since 2004. Among the 80,000 Vietnamese migrant workers and 100,000 Vietnamese brides in Taiwan, an average of 8 to 10 of them went to Nguyen for help every month last year.
Participants at the conference sponsored by the Ministry of the Interior emphasized the need for social workers to help the victims.
"Victims deserved to be treated with dignity. They're not criminals," Nguyen said, referring to the fact that most victims are treated like criminals and with prejudice, as there is no law that clearly defines human trafficking in Taiwan.
Burke urged social workers to "be flexible" and "be willing to work in different ways," as international human trafficking usually involves people with different backgrounds.
The forum also discussed problems with work permits in Taiwan.
Most of the victims of human trafficking were people who needed a source of income, Burke said, adding that they would cooperate better if social workers or law enforcement agencies were willing to pursue traffickers.
Nguyen also raised the issue of how current laws in the nation prohibit victims from working while they wait through the long investigation and legal processing of their cases.
A student at National Chengchi University jumped from the roof of his apartment in the early hours of Sunday after he was allegedly bullied online. The 21-year-old student, surnamed Huang (黃), on Friday last week posted on the university’s online discussion forum asking the public to judge a dispute he was having with a female roommate about rent. An anonymous post on the online forum Dcard appeared on the same day, saying he was the last person to judge others, and that he was “a heavy smoker, lazy, a terrible group member for class projects and a person with a poor
POPULAR PRODUCTS: Most of the devices were made by Da-Jian Innovations, a drone maker, and TP-Link, which sells routers and other networking equipment More than 2,500 public schools and government offices are using 19,256 blacklisted Chinese communications and electronic devices, raising national security concerns, a National Center for Cyber Security Technology (NCCST) report said. The report, released late last month, showed that many of the blacklisted products were from Shenzhen-based Da-Jiang Innovations Technology (DJI, 大疆創新), which makes drones and cameras for aerial photography. The Executive Yuan has previously instructed schools and government offices to report back on their use and installation of blacklisted communications and electronic devices, which are to be replaced by the end of the year. If they are not replaced, due to budget
The military is to mount two tank guns purchased from the US on domestically made armored vehicles to aid in the research and development (R&D) of mobile gun systems, sources said on Saturday. Two sets of M68A2 105mm tank guns are to be mounted on Taiwanese-built CM-32 Clouded Leopards, the sources said. The official R&D would start next year, and the military hopes to produce two prototypes by 2023, they added. A 105mm tank gun is expected to be the main weapon of armored vehicles, with a secondary system to incorporate a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun with a 12.7mm remote-controlled machine gun turret. Sources
‘IT FEELS DESOLATE’: Foot traffic has all but stopped in the district, but some traditional stores that offer online shopping have seen their revenues increase Businesses in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華) would take at least six months to recover from the effects of a COVID-19 outbreak, a merchants’ association said on Sunday. Wanhua, home to the Ximending (西門町) shopping area, is usually one of the most visited parts of Taipei. However, people have been avoiding the district since last month, when a COVID-19 outbreak was discovered there. Now, only local residents can be seen on the streets of Wanhua and they pass by quickly without entering the shops, Taipei Business District and Industrial Confederation chairman Hung Wen-ho (洪文和) said. “Most businesses have shuttered up. Only a