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Taiwan

The Situation
Taiwan is a source and destination country for human trafficking.

Source
Taiwanese women are trafficked for sexual exploitation in Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 1

Destination
Taiwan is a destination country for women and girls who are trafficked mostly from the People’s Republic of China (P.R.C.) and some from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand for sexual and labor exploitation. 2  Women and girls are recruited through fraudulent marriages, deceptive employment offer, and illegal smuggling. Many women from Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines migrate voluntarily to Taiwan to work in construction, fishing and manufacturing industries, or as domestic servants but are later coerced into involuntary servitude and debt bondage. 3 

The Taiwanese Government
The Taiwanese Government was placed in Tier 2 in 2007 U.S. Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report for not fully complying with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but making significant efforts to do so.

Taiwan does not have a comprehensive trafficking law, but has a number of laws to prosecute traffickers including the laws against slavery, Section 296 and 296-1 of its criminal code. Penalties are up to seven years of imprisonment. 4  There are no laws to criminalize labor trafficking or debt bondage. The government recently formed a national plan of action that covers all forms of trafficking. 5 

Prosecution
The Taiwanese police and immigration officials conducted anti-trafficking operations, disrupting at least four trafficking rings-one of them involving trafficking for forced labor-and rescuing at least 40 victims of sex or labor trafficking. 6  In 2006, 261 persons were indicted for trafficking related offenses, 92 persons were convicted, 74 persons were found guilty of exploiting children for prostitution, 29 of who were sentenced to five to seven years in prison, 16 were sentenced for three to five years, and 20 of whom were sentences to one to three years. In October a senior immigration official and 10 others were arrested for helping smuggle at least 80 Chinese women into the country for prostitution over a six month period. 7

Protection
The Taiwanese Government provides a shelter, legal aid, psycho-social counseling, and medical care. Victim services remain uncoordinated and many trafficking victims have been misidentified as prostitutes or illegal migrants and have been incarcerated and placed in detention facilities. The government does not offer legal alternatives to victims who face hardship or retribution in their countries. Some victims are granted temporary residency but are not offered long-term residency. 8 

Prevention
The Vietnamese government made efforts to prevent fraudulent marriages in Taiwan. The government restricted eligibility, increased interview requirements for the brides and Taiwanese spouses, banned the registration of new cross-border marriage companies. 9  

Recommendations
The U.S. Department of State recommends that victims of trafficking should be granted formal protection, including access to justice in order to obtain compensation from their traffickers or exploitative employers and the right to work while awaiting court cases. The Council on Labor Affairs (CLA) should stop addressing acts of involuntary servitude with administrative penalties; instead these serious crimes should be referred to the appropriate law enforcement authorities for criminal investigation and, if warranted, prosecution. Taiwan authorities should do more to eliminate the ability of labor brokers and employers to deport workers involuntarily. 10

______________________________

1   2006 US Department of State Human Rights Report
2  2006 US Department of State Human Rights Report
3  2007 US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report
4  2006 US Department of State Human Rights Report
5  2007 US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report
6  2007 US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report
7  2006 US Department of State Human Rights Report
8  2007 US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report
9  2006 US Department of State Human Rights Report
10 2007 US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report


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