Taiwan urged to overhaul immigration policy to fight human trafficking
Jul 25, 2018MarketComments Off on Taiwan urged to overhaul immigration policy to fight human trafficking
Taipei, Taiwan can revolutionize its work force and simultaneously address both its demographic and economic challenges by revising its immigration policy, Patrick Taran, president of the Global Migration Policy Association, said in Taipei Wednesday.
"The economy of Taiwan clearly needs workers," Taran said. "Its native workers are disappearing, but foreign workers continue to be constrained from arriving. They are needed for the labor demand in this country."
Speaking at an international workshop on strategies for combating human trafficking, Taran outlined what he saw as the root causes of human trafficking and smuggling and made recommendations for dealing with those challenges.
"Trafficking and smuggling exist because there is a demand for labor, particularly for cheap and unprotected labor, such as in Taiwan's fishing industry, while at the same time there is little or no labor protection or inspection, no effective immigration policies," he said.
When circulation is freer, when employers' access to labor and job-seekers' access to work is unrestricted, while abuse of workers is controlled, the problems all but disappear, Taran said.
"That's certainly the case within most regional economic communities," he added.
In what he called a dramatic example of such a case, he said the problem of human trafficking in Western Europe disappeared overnight in 2001 when the European Union dropped its visa restrictions on nationals of 10 accession countries.
Taran suggested that Taiwan review its immigration policy to address the increasing shortage of labor, which he said has created a market for trafficking to flourish.
"Trafficking is a business and it's driven and inspired by labor demand," he said.
Outside the venue of the workshop, meanwhile, a coalition of Taiwan nongovernmental organizations called Human Rights for Migrant Fishers staged a rally, calling on the government to take action to eradicate human rights abuses and human trafficking in the fishing industry.
The workshop, which is being hosted by the National Immigration Agency, on Thursday will discuss issues such as preventing exploitation of migrant domestic workers and fishermen, with participants from New Zealand, the Philippines, and Indonesian sharing their experiences.
Comments Off on Taipei-Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau is promoting mountain tourism at the 4-day Taipei International Travel Fair that began Friday.
The bureau is focusing on five north-south mountain ranges — the Central Mountain, Xueshan, Yushan, Alishan and the Coastal Mountain ranges — in its pavilion at the fair, said bureau Deputy Director-General Chang Shi-chung (???).
Chang said there will be various exhibitions and forums on the mountains of Taiwan, as well as its unique cultural features such as historic trails and aboriginal lifestyles.
Taiwan is preparing to market 2020 as the Year of Mountain Tourism, after its efforts to position the country as an important international mountaineering destination in July, when the government allowed public access to the island’s national parks.
Previously, people who wanted to visit restricted “ecological protected areas” in Taiwan’s national parks had to apply for permits from both the National Police Agency and the Construction and Planning Agency.
Now, however, the Construction and Planning Agency has launched a new mountain permit application portal that requires mountain visitors to apply for only one permit and provides fast-track processing to expedite applications, the bureau said.
Much of Taiwan is covered by mountains, and it has 268 mountains of over 3,000 meters, according to the Tourism Bureau website.
That environment has made hiking and mountain climbing one of the favorite pastimes of Taiwan residents.
The number of permits issued to Taiwanese citizens and foreign nationals for access to trails in Yushan, Taroko and Shei Pa national parks has risen from 153,736 in 2016 to 187,053 in 2017 and 201,526 in 2018, according to Construction and Planning Agency figures.
In 2018, foreign nationals accounted for 7.24 percent of the permits issued.
There will be around 1,700 booths from 60 countries at the fair, to be held Nov. 8-11 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center.
The fair, the largest of its kind in Taiwan, will feature South Korean and Japanese tourism operators amid growing local interest in travel to those countries.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel