Human trafficking victims awaiting return to their countries of origin may be able to work and learn new job skills in shelters starting as early as next year, a National Immigration Agency (NIA) official said yesterday.
Immigration Affairs Division Director Chien Hui-juan (簡慧娟) made the remarks when answering complaints made by a rights activist during a conference on migrant rights held in Taipei.
Zhang Yu-hua (張育華), executive director of the Taiwan International Family Association told delegates at the conference that neither the immigration authorities nor the legal system treat human trafficking victims as "victims."
Zhang cited a case she had worked on recently as an example.
"Six Vietnamese women came to Taiwan as migrant workers," Zhang said. "Although the broker in Vietnam told them they would be preparing food at a lunch box factory, they were sold into the sex industry instead."
Although they were considered by police and prosecutors as victims, "they were not treated as victims," Zhang said.
The six women were put into a shelter in March and stayed there until August when they were required as witnesses at a court hearing, Zhang said.
"They could not work during that period. They didn't know how long they had to wait. For most of the time, they could only stay in the shelter, watching TV, sleeping and eating," Zhang said. "They felt miserable the whole time."
Zhang said during this time they were not asked if they wanted to be witnesses in the case, nor were they even told that they were expected to be witnesses, Zhang said.
After the six women were finally allowed to return to Vietnam in August, "an immigration officer asked us to provide evidence to prove they were victims before the NIA would waive their penalties for overstaying their visas," Zhang said. "It makes me wonder whether they were considered victims or criminal."
In response, Chien said the agency had started solving some of these problems.
"The Cabinet has approved a three-year project proposed by the NIA, which includes solutions to many of these issues," Chien said.
One that may become a reality next year, Chien said, is allowing work or job skills lessons to be held in shelters.
"The reasoning behind this is, if these human trafficking victims don't have any job skills, they may become victims of human trafficking again in the future," Chien said. "That's why we believe it may provide a solution to this issue if they can learn some skills while staying in the shelters."
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
The COVID-19 pandemic might not have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, China, National Taiwan University College of Public Health professor Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. While many countries are experiencing second waves of COVID-19 infections, many are also lifting lockdowns to revive their economies, allowing travelers to cross national borders, Chen said. Academics have been questioning whether genetic mutations in the novel coronavirus in different countries have made it more infectious, he added. Academics from different backgrounds have conducted phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences, he said, adding that the studies can help scientists understand how the virus spread among