International experts this week gathered in Taiwan to share insights and bolster cooperation on combating human trafficking, the Ministry of the Interior’s National Immigration Agency (NIA) said yesterday.
Officials, academics, experts and representatives from civil organizations from the US, South Korea, the UK, Belgium, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam participated in the International Workshop on Strategies for Combating Human Trafficking in Taipei on Wednesday and Thursday, the NIA said.
Officials who have been paying attention to related issues, such as Control Yuan member Chi Hui-jung (紀惠容) and members of the Cabinet’s Coordination Board on Prevention of Human Trafficking and Elimination of Racial Discrimination, served as moderators at discussions, NIA Director Chung Ching-kun (鐘景琨) said.
Photo courtesy of the National Immigration Agency
The discussions focused on the challenges posed by emerging forms and trends of human trafficking in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era, the agency said.
The participants also exchanged ideas on strategies to prevent human trafficking, especially for vulnerable groups and foreign students, it added.
Korean Institute of Criminology and Justice senior research fellow An Sung-hoon talked about South Korea’s latest human trafficking crime prevention plan, which aims to prevent it by building social consensus, providing individualized assistance to victims and reinforcing early detection mechanisms, the agency said.
A senior official of the Indonesian Ministry of Labor said that Indonesia established a human trafficking task force to bolster the prevention and investigation of criminal cases, and implemented an inspection mechanism to protect its overseas workers.
Royal Holloway College, University of London law and criminology lecturer Mohammad Sabuj said that if a diplomat exploits a domestic worker while stationed abroad, they should not be protected by diplomatic immunity.
An amendment to the Human Trafficking Prevention Act (人口販運防制法), which was announced in June, increases penalties and provides better care and protection for victims, Deputy Minister of the Interior Wu Jung-hui (吳容輝) said.
The ministry is drawing up supporting regulations for the amended legislation to be implemented next year, he added.
In addition, the ministry is to integrate resources from government agencies and civil organizations, as well as bolstering connections between domestic and foreign law enforcement agencies and non-governmental organizations to promote effective strategies for human trafficking prevention, he said.
The UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children states that effective prevention of human trafficking “requires a comprehensive international approach in the countries of origin, transit and destination,” the NIA said.
Taiwan intends to continue holding the international workshop as an effort to maintain substantial and close cooperative relations with more countries, working together in the fight against human trafficking, the agency said.
Additional reporting by Wang Kuan-jen
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