Taiwan maintained its Tier 1 ranking for the 11th consecutive year in the 20th Trafficking in Persons Report released June 25 by the U.S. Department of State.
The country shares the recognition in the Asia-Pacific with Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and South Korea. Hong Kong drops to the Tier 2 watchlist while China remains Tier 3.
Taiwan fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking, the report said, with the government continuing to demonstrate serious and sustained efforts in improving interagency cooperation, new policy initiatives to streamline investigation, oversight of labor recruitment channels and increased inspections of forced labor on fishing vessels.
The Ministry of the Interior welcomed the result, describing it as an outstanding example of seamless collaboration between government and civil society in every aspect of combating human trafficking. This is important as human rights is one of the universal values Taiwan holds dear, the MOI added.
According to the MOI, 169 foreign victims of human trafficking were rescued last year in Taiwan, with 122 individuals prosecuted for involvement in related crimes. Regarding report recommendations pertaining to the fishing industry and recruitment of overseas workers, the ministry vowed to fast-track legislative amendments, toughen employment broker evaluations and carry out more onboard interviews of at-risk crew members, the ministry said.
The government is sparing no effort in ensuring the country remains a beacon of human rights throughout the region. Relevant bills governing establishment of the National Human Rights Commission under the Control Yuan were recently finalized.
Oversight of the NHRC will fall to the president of the Control Yuan and nine other members of the investigatory body. Its organizational brief includes reviewing complaints of abuses and discrimination, as well as drafting and proposing the National Human Rights Report and advising government agencies on related policymaking. (TYT-E)
Write to Taiwan Today at email@example.com