About 38 percent of foreign domestic workers in Taiwan have been verbally or physically abused by employers or household members, while less than half seek help, a survey conducted by the Garden of Hope Foundation found.
About 250,000 migrants work in Taiwanese households, more than 240,000 as caregivers and 1,800 as maids, foundation executive director Chi Hui-jung (紀惠容) told a workshop yesterday.
As shown by 35 percent of respondents, most victims do not seek help after being exploited, physically attacked or even sexually assaulted because they fear losing their job, said Kaili Lee (李凱莉), director of the foundation’s foreign assistance center.
About 31 percent of respondents said they did not seek help because of their inability to speak Chinese, while 26 percent said they did not know who to turn to for help, she said.
Those who sought help most often used the Ministry of Labor’s 24-hour 1995 hotline for foreign workers, labor brokerages, friends, relatives or local labor authorities, Lee added.
The survey, conducted in March, collected 510 valid questionnaires from foreign domestic workers — 400 from the Philippines, 104 from Indonesia and six from Vietnam — 60 percent of whom had worked in Taiwan for more than three years.
Although it is illegal in Taiwan for employers to keep a domestic helper’s passport, national health insurance card or residency permit, more than 20 percent of respondents said that their employer kept their documents, Lee said.
The results showed that about 84 percent of caregivers said they were the only one looking after the person in need, while 35 percent said they rarely had eight hours of uninterrupted rest a day.
Although Taiwan raised the monthly wage for foreign domestic helpers from NT$15,840 to NT$17,000 in September 2015, 29.61 percent of respondents received less than that per month, the results showed.
The results showed that the failure of employers to provide safe accommodation and their failure to provide substitute help correlated highly with incidences of sexual abuse against domestic helpers, Lee said, adding that not having substitute help was especially predictive of abuse.
Foreign domestic helpers, who are not covered by the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法), need the consent of their employer to receive a pay hike, which is why nearly one-third of them have stagnant wages, analysts said.
HOT-SPRING RETREAT: A hotel in Japan incurred a loss of about US$1,846 after a Taiwanese man failed to show up for his reservation due to a misunderstood message A Taiwanese man who failed to show up for a hotel reservation in Japan has apologized and offered compensation, the hotel said yesterday. The man, surnamed Lee (李), reserved a room at the Yufuin Tsubaki hot-spring hotel in Oita for the Lunar New Year holiday, but failed to show up on Friday. Lee yesterday called the hotel to apologize and offered to compensate the losses caused by his failure to show up, a hotel employee surnamed Yashiro said. Lee’s wife also called on Sunday to apologize, she said. Lee had booked a two-night stay with upscale seafood and beef meals, the hotel said. His
Two Taiwanese Americans were among those killed in a mass shooting at a dance studio in Monterey Park, California, on Saturday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles (TECO LA) said it contacted local authorities, who confirmed that two of the 11 killed in the shooting were Taiwanese Americans. “TECO LA conveys our heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families, and sends our prayers to the injured for a speedy recovery,” it said in a statement. The office said it is assisting the relatives of one of the victims to travel from
A senior US senator on Monday questioned the willingness of some US allies to help defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion. Although Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) expects the US and Japan to respond in a war in the Taiwan Strait, he was “a little less confident what our other allies would do,” US Senator John Cornyn said. Australia and New Zealand have voiced support for Taiwan, but it “is a far cry from committing troops to repel an invasion,” Cornyn said during a discussion on China, Russia and the state of US military readiness at a forum hosted
Whisky connoisseurs are a rapidly growing demographic in Taiwan, driving prices ever higher as collectors vie for the most coveted editions. Although not a new pastime, whisky collection has been picking up steam in recent years. According to the Scotch Whisky Association, Taiwan was the third-largest buyer of Scotch whisky in 2021 in monetary terms. One collector, surnamed Fu (傅), said there are many types of whisky that are ripe for collecting. One that has skyrocketed in price in recent years is the Macallan 12-year-old Gran Reserva, which bears a striking purple label, said Fu, who has more than 10 years of experience as