|Hsinchu County Praised for Prevention of Human Trafficking
The economy of Hsinchu County has been prosperous and growing rapidly in recent years due to the Industrial Cluster Effect brought by Hsinchu Science Park and Hsinchu Industrial Park, which has also created many employment opportunities. Therefore, not only a large number of Taiwanese are immigrating or working in Hsinchu County, but also the foreign population has been increasing at a fast pace. According to the latest statistics (until July 2014) of the National Immigration Agency (NIA), the population of foreign nationals staying in Hsinchu County is 24,434 people, among which 21,570 people are categorized as Foreign Workers.
“Letting foreign workers know how to protect themselves from criminals as well as raising the awareness of people trafficking and human rights has become the priority of public security policy in Hsinchu County”, said County Magistrate Chu, Ching-Chun(邱鏡淳). However it is an honour to know that, according to the 2013 Republic of China (Taiwan) Trafficking in Persons Report, Hsinchu County has done a great job on preventing the occurrence of Human Trafficking. The foreign workers are seldom victimized in Hsinchu County and the occurrence rate is about 1% of total cases in Taiwan. It was found that most of the victims that were rescued had absconded from their employers before they were victimized.
Huang, Chia-Lu (黃嘉祿), the Commissioner of Hsinchu County Police Bureau, said, “the prevention of human trafficking and raising the awareness of human trafficking require interdepartmental cooperation as well as the contribution of nongovernmental organizations. For example, the Hsinchu County Police Bureau and the Labor Affairs Department of Hsinchu County Government jointly held a promotional event at TAIYUEN TEXTILE (台元紡織廠), in which about 300 Vietnamese and Thai foreign workers participated. Officials of the Labor Affairs Department reviewed the related law and regulations during the event and promoted the 1955 hotline for 24-Hour Foreign Worker Consultation and Protection. The 1955 Hotline provides multilingual services in Chinese, English, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Thai so that the foreign workers who don’t speak Chinese can also use this hotline to protect their legal rights.”
“Furthermore, the police officers reviewed the trafficking in persons cases that had happened in different parts of Taiwan in order to share tips to avoid being targeted by criminals as well as the knowledge to protect their personal safety. Also, the 110 24-hour Taiwan Emergency Hotline is mentioned again for cases of human trafficking”, added Commissioner Huang.
In order to take initiative in prevention of trafficking in persons, Hsinchu County Government has mobilized the resources from related bureaus and departments to promote the awareness of human trafficking and ways to prevent it such as improving the related legal knowledge of the foreign workers. Moreover, for those unfortunately being trafficked and rescued, Hsinchu County Government provides shelters for the victims, a Counseling service, physical examinations and other necessary medical services. Hsinchu County Government hope that the foreign workers can ask the related authorities or organizations for help when they have problems with their original employers and do not just escape to find other jobs on their own because it will increase the possibility of being victimized, whether it be human trafficking or other crimes.
In order to provide a safe living environment for the local residents, foreign residents and the new immigrants, Hsinchu County Government will continue to work jointly with the law enforcement agencies in Hsinchu County, domestic and foreign nongovernmental organizations or institutions in the implementation of human trafficking prevention, the prosecution of human traffickers and victim rehabilitation.
*To report human trafficking cases, please call the following hotlines:
National Police Agency: 110
National Immigration Agency: (02)2388-3095
Labor Affairs Ministry: 1955 (Multilingual)