Saturday, July 05, 2008

Made in China, Trafficked to Taiwan

From the China Post:

On Friday, the Legislative Yuan held a hearing to review the possibility of drafting legislation designed to combat human trafficking.

At the hearing, representatives of government agencies, non-governmental organizations, charities and human rights lawyers discussed the seriousness of human trafficking in Taiwan and ways that legislation should be designed to combat the problem.

We fully support the proposal for having a special Anti-Human Trafficking Law, and hope to see our legislators come up with a comprehensive bill that can finally address this growing problem.

It has long been known that foreign nationals and mainland Chinese have been brought into Taiwan to perform difficult or illegal tasks, ranging from menial factory jobs to prostitution. For such a law to be effective, provisions must be drafted that impose stiff punishments for people convicted of smuggling or exploiting illegals immigrants.

Budgets for the Coast Guard have to be increased so more traffickers can be interdicted at sea and their human cargoes rescued. A mechanism must also be set up to protect the dignity and human rights of foreign nationals who help bring their exploiters to justice.

Much of the attention focused on the human trafficking problem is centered on the smuggling of people into Taiwan. However, we believe another important facet of this human rights catastrophe often goes overlooked and needs more attention.

It has long been known in law enforcement circles in the United States, Canada and Europe that "snakehead" groups smuggling mainland Chinese into other countries prefer to use Taiwan-issued travel documents when bringing their clients into foreign countries on commercial flights. The main reason why ROC documents are preferred is because mainland Chinese have the easiest time posing as Taiwanese tourists and speak the same language as we do.

According to research performed on human smuggling in China, an ROC passport containing a valid U.S. visitor's visa can fetch more than US$20,000 on the black market, as it can easily be used to smuggle a mainland Chinese into the United States.

Read the full article

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