An international alliance of Filipino migrant organizations hailed the decision of the Taiwan government to form a group to look into cases of human trafficking and take legal action against employers found guilty of the transnational crime.
Migrante International said the anti-trafficking group would help ensure that Filipinos are hired only by legitimate recruiters and are assured of legal work when they arrive in Taiwan.
The special body will be composed of the National Immigration Agency, court police, foreign police, and the National Police Agency. Taiwan’s Council of Labor Affairs will take care of providing the workers NT$10,000 as allowance and working permits as they are allowed to work in any job category while the case is being heard.
Garry Martinez, Migrante chairperson, said the formation of the body was a “positive development” that stemmed from the complaint filed by 10 overseas Filipino workers at the National Immigration Agency, assisted by the New Immigrants Labor Rights Association, a non-government organization.
The 10 OFWs in Jia Chiarng Company recently lodged a complaint against underpayment of their salary and the confiscation of their passports by their brokers. The National Immigration Agency of Taiwan has concluded that Jia Chiarng Company and its broker are guilty of Labor Trafficking due to slave-like wages and confiscation of passports of its migrant workers.
In a statement, Martinez lamented the lack of action of Philippine officials on the case. “How ironic that a foreign government has shown more concern in taking legal actions against employers found guilty of trafficking Filipinos while the Philippine government officials remain inutile in going after abusive employers,” he said.
Adapted from: Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, "Taiwan forms anti-human trafficking group," Global Nation Inquirer, 15 June 2009.
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