AIT Statement on the U.S. State Department's 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report for Taiwan
PR0732E | Date: 2007-06-13
On June 12, 2007, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice released the 2007 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report in Washington DC. The entire report, including the chapter on Taiwan, can be viewed at AIT's website, www.ait.org.tw.
For 2007, Taiwan is classified as Tier 2 and has been removed from the "Watch List." The report notes that the Taiwan authorities do not yet fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but they are making significant efforts to do so. Notable among these efforts are the development of Taiwan's first comprehensive plan of action that covers all forms of human trafficking, plus the formation of an inter-ministerial committee to implement the plan in coordination with non-governmental organizations.
We believe Taiwan must demonstrate greater political will in dealing with its human trafficking problem. Trafficking victims should be granted formal protections, including access to justice, in order to obtain compensation from those who have exploited them. Victims should also receive the right to work while awaiting the outcome of court cases. The Council for Labor Affairs should stop addressing instances of involuntary servitude with administrative penalties; instead, it should refer such cases for criminal investigation and possible prosecution. Moreover, we believe the Taiwan authorities should do more to eliminate the ability of labor brokers and employers to deport workers involuntarily.
While much remains to be done, AIT has been pleased with our cooperation with the Taiwan authorities over the past year. We continue to support Taiwan's efforts through visits and video conferences by experts from the United States, and by inviting Taiwan officials and NGO representatives to visit the U.S. in order to learn how the U.S. attempts to combat the problem of trafficking. AIT will continue to increase public awareness of the suffering caused by trafficking. We will continue working with Taiwan officials and NGOs to combat this human tragedy.