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11th Consecutive Year as Tier 1 Country in TIP Report, the Ministry of Interior conducts workshops with industry to jointly combat forced labor

  • Date:
  • Source:Anti-Human Trafficking Section
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The International Workshop on Combating Human Trafficking organized by the Taiwan Ministry of the Interior was unveiled today (Sept. 1). It included Lo Ping-cheng, Executive Yuan Minister without Portfolio, Chen Tsung-Yen, Deputy Minister of Interior, and Dr. Brent Christensen, Director of the American Institute in Taiwan, many industry participants, including Tigerair Taiwan, in attendance who jointly took an oath to combat forced labor.

Deputy Minister Chen Tsung-Yen said that Taiwan has been rated as a Tier 1 country in the TIP report issued by the U.S. State Department for 11 consecutive years, and has been listed as a country with the second lowest crime rate and second highest safety index in the world by the “Crime Index by Country”. This is a result of the close cooperation between government and the private sector. It is hoped that through exchanges and sharing of Taiwan’s experience, it will be possible to cooperate with the international community in combatting human trafficking.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, Taiwan’s human trafficking primarily involves either labor or sexual exploitation. The number of foreign victims in protective placement in 2019 dropped to 92, which is the lowest since implementation of the Human Trafficking Prevention Act in 2009. As affected by the global pandemic this year, in 2020 international human trafficking has also been relatively reduced. However, the various Taiwan government departments have continued prevention and control work, while endeavoring to address emerging issues that may arise from the end of the pandemic, and to plan the "2021-2022 Exploitation Prevention Plan", to ensure even better prevention work every year.

The Ministry of the Interior pointed out that the number of migrant workers in Taiwan is as many as 700,000 persons. Some potentially vulnerable people are not familiar with the Taiwanese languages may not feel they are able to effectively lodge complaints when they are victimized. Therefore, the government is actively promoting nationwide understanding of the sign language for "help", and for the first time during the opening ceremony of the International Workshop on Combating Human Trafficking, simultaneous interpretation in sign language was arranged, with sign language rescue information in "Mandarin Chinese", "Indonesian", "Vietnamese" and "Thai" published in the conference manual, in the hope to better empower victims to communicate and avail themselves of more opportunities to find help.

According to the National Immigration Agency, Ministry of the Interior, this year’s workshop explored the four themes of pursuing "Overall strategies for preventing human trafficking", "Victim safety and rebirth", "The new protagonist in anti-labor exploitation efforts - Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)" and "Important national challenges and breakthroughs in preventing human trafficking”. As affected by the pandemic, with the result that foreign officials and international organizations could not directly deploy their personnel to Taiwan, but representatives of foreign missions and representative offices in Taiwan attended, along with personnel from non-governmental organizations, and persons concerned with human trafficking issues who all actively participated. There were also some foreign speakers who used pre-recorded or videoconferencing methods to participate.

Pre-recorded videos from 3 foreign speakers were shown at this year’s workshop including Hong Kong Lawyer Patsy Ho, the winner of the US Department of State’s "Human Trafficking Hero Award 2020", who has conducted in-depth research on human trafficking in Hong Kong; British speaker Luke de Pulford, who serves as the CEO of the Arise Foundation, and who introduced the new concept of "Ethical Recruitment" to the guests at the conference; and Mark Charoenwong, Prosecutor with the Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office of the Ministry of Justice of Thailand, who described the current situation of human trafficking in the ASEAN region with a presentation entitled the "Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Thailand’s Challenges in Combating Human Trafficking".

Today’s activities include representatives of private industry and important civic sector stakeholders such as the Eden Social Welfare Foundation, the SouthEast Asia Group, FCF Co., Ltd. and Tigerair Taiwan. They all attended the joint oath ceremony to combat forced labor, demonstrating the determination of Taiwan’s government and enterprises in the global fight against slavery and our commitment to jointly combatting human trafficking.