Is there slavery in Taiwan? What's being done about it?

I just read an article about new laws enacted in Australia pertaining to “slavery”:


Actually, I thought the situation was much worse in Taiwan, but I haven’t read much about any government action to circumvent it. Actually, I just hear about the occasional horror story…

Here’s a little summary of the story, in case the link doesn’t work:

Four people (a woman, her husband and two other men) allegedly enslaved 6 (maybe more) Thai women and forced them to work in the sex industry; they’ve become the first people to be charged in Oz with the offence of slavery. One report says that as many as 1000 women are trafficked into Oz annually…

Apparently, the women were in Australia to work off “debts” that were incurred before they arrived in Australia, as they had to pay the cost of their flights and accommodation in advance and then “work” to repay the costs.

There have been many recent arrests for similar offences such as sexual servitude and people smuggling, as the government starts to get tough on human trafficking. The people arrested face up to 25 years in prison for each offence.

Sounds a little like the situation some of the English teachers I have met are going through. Looks like slavery is alive and well in Taiwan.

The ROC seems to be totally ignoring the problem of sex slaves. The media tries to get pictures of prositutes from mainland China who have been caught by the local police. Shouldn’t they be treated as rape victims?! People here are so ignorant!

I wonder legally how the sex slaves are treated compared with the true prostitutes. Some mail order brides seem to fit in this category too:

Can such wives sue their husbands? Can the husbands be arrested for slavery?

yes, there are slaves in taiwan. don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

poor SEAsians go into debt to come here. the ones who go to factories are lucky. the one’s who go to private homes are OFTEN royally screwed.

“sindee” maybe such a case. she had training in indonesia as a care giver. she was hired as such. she paid her indonesian agent. she paid her taiwanese agent. she comes to taiwan and does work as a health aide- in the day. at night she worked at the hakka food shop until two AM everyday. she had no days off. she couldn’t watch TV. she couldn’t talk to customers when aunty was around. she hadn’t been paid-ever. oftentimes we had to pass notes to communicate, like kids in school. yes, her cellphone was a secret. chinese new year came and cindee 'mysteriously" ran away. good for her.

in official reports, she will be put part of the number of absconded indonesians. taiwan will use this number of “criminals” to get greater leverage against indonesia. if indonesia doesn’t knuckle under, the flow of workers will be reduced as was the philippines. mongolians are now coming in. taiwan is clearly using poorer nations against each other to see who will provide the cheapest labor. human rights in taiwan are for taiwanese only.

ps- anybody got a link for the girl chained to a tree?

Slavery’s getting pretty bad in UK, too. One pound for nine hour’s work? That’s even less than they get here, isn’t it?
Cockle slaves

What about all the people (espically girls)that go missing here every year. I heard from a Taiwanese friend who was talking about teh sex trade, of a practise here is to get Taiwanese girls addicted to drugs. Once they are addicted and need their fix, their handler can rent them out as much as they want to in exchange for a fix

Oh my goodness! Can this be true? I’ve never heard of anything like this happening anywhere else in the world! Can you imagine the outcry there would be if this was happening to girls in America, the UK or Europe? Damn, but these Taiwanese are a dirty lot, eh?

I’ve heard about it lots, Sandman, in lots of places. This kind of thing is quite common. Sick.


I think you need to read sandman’s post in another context.

Shoot, where’s the “obvious sarcasm” smiley?

First, like in the USA, almost all missing children in Taiwan have been abducted by relatives. There is no Satanic cult kidnapping children for child sacrifice. There is no mass harvasting of children by aliens. There is no secret porn kiddie industry. An aside–all that kiddie porn is made by your neighbours using kids in your neighbourhood.

Second, the kind of slavery you are talking about is found throughout the world. Most of these women went voluntarily and believe it or not, most of them are professional prostitutes. Those women who drowned while being transported to Taiwan; the best guess is that they’re professional prostitutes who entered the business voluntarily.

In case you missed it, there was just a demostration in Taipei by women calling themselves sex workers. As distasteful as you and I may find it, almost all those women involved in the sex trade in Taiwan and Australia do so voluntarily. The kind of trafficing in women you are referring to is illegal here and there is enforcement of these laws.

About a lot of things, Taiwan sucks. But believe me, there are places that make this look like a paradise.

:blush: Oh. Well, I should have known Sandman already knew about this. :mrgreen: … RpZD0yNTgs

The second link is regarding Taiwan, but seems to be a bit outdated.

There is something really wrong with the fact that Taiwan, as a “developed country” (i.e., one with a decent per capita income), is saddled with the mindset of a much poorer nation. It seems that foreigners have no real rights in Taiwan unless it suits the Taiwanese economy to give them rights – for example, white and Japanese people working for multinationals get better rights because their companies might pull out absent such rights. If we judge human rights in this country, we need to judge them by the rights given to people in recognition of their humanity. Judging from the rights available to the weakest members of this society, the human-rights situation here is actually piss-poor in light of Taiwan’s state of economic development.

One of the more annoying aspects of foreign life in Taiwan is the assumption that Taiwan is the only country in the world. How else can you explain statements like

This only makes sense if it’s really true that wealthier nations give workers more rights. I wasn’t aware that European nations like Germany and Switzerland were so much more liberal.
Or even Singapore
Not every ‘developed country’ is a liberal state, nor is ‘developedness’–whatever that is-- defined by a lack of social problems or problems with foreign residents. You may have forgotten, the USA just enacted the Homeland Security Act.

Bad stuff happens back home more than you remember. Living here with all this wierd stuff around has a tendency to make people into hyper-nationalists. Your home country wasn’t that great. That’s why you left. Be honest, it wasn’t 'cause you wanted to travel the world. Think back very hard; the economy was falling apart, politicans had no answers, health care was crumbling, there was talk of government pensions being dismantled, and on and on and on. It wasn’t great. And it certainly isn’t as great today as gets implied on this board by the comparisons with Taiwan.

What seems to be just as bad as the people who are forced to work in the sex industry in places like Taiwan, America, etc, are the foreigners who travel to countries like Cambodia in order to have sex with children, some of whom are not even 10 years old!! Horrible!!!

mofangongren what to you mean…“There is something really wrong with the fact that Taiwan, as a “developed country” (i.e., one with a decent per capita income), is saddled with the mindset of a much poorer nation.” Where did you get this ‘decent’ per capita income? From the figures I’ve seen, and the people I know working 14 hour days, six days a week for roughly NT$30,000…I hardly call that decent.
As for any slavery in Taiwan, I think it’s terrible that a lot of caregivers are treated like crap but then on the flip side - did they really expect paradise when they left their home countries to come here? I am always confused by this. But then I don’t have friends that are caregivers so I don’t know. The only ones I see are normally hanging out at Youth Park with the old folks in their care. As for kiddie sex rings or whatever you call it, I have never seen it but then again I haven’t went looking either. I have noticed that the groups that scream the loudest about this sort of thing usually have a vested interest in the problem being ‘out of hand.’ Most of them (the groups) exist through charitable donatioins or government support, so if there isn’t a problem then there is no need of the group. Yes, I am normally this cynical… :wink:

I know that where I work we get at least one report per week of Chinese women picked up at sea while trying to illegally enter Taiwan. In virtually every single report, at least one of them is under 15. These reports, of course, are only the ones that are caught. I would imagine that the vast majority make it into Taiwan without detection. These reports are hardly ever taken off the wire by the English-language press here.

As for any slavery in Taiwan, I think it’s terrible that a lot of caregivers are treated like crap but then on the flip side - did they really expect paradise when they left their home countries to come here? I am always confused by this. But then I don’t have friends that are caregivers so I don’t know. [/quote]

Since you’ve been here has your employer beaten or raped you?

I doubt they thought it would be paradise but they didn’t think it would be hell either. Remember the Indonesian girl who was found chained to a tree in the mountains outside of Hualien? She had been there for 2 years being used as a watchdog in a fruit orchard. They family who owned her came once a week to leave some food. She slept under a sheet of plastic. Some tourists hiking in the mountains found her and called the police.

If you’d like to hear some stories first hand, I suggest you go down to the Taipei Train Station any Sunday morning and talk to some of the Indonesian women there. You’ll get an earful…

"O’Neil also pointed out that criminal cases against employers who have abused migrant workers are too time-consuming.

“We have a case where a female domestic worker has been staying in our shelter for over two years. She is almost blind now as a result of being physically abused and raped by her employer. Her employer recently received an eight-year prison sentence but has filed an appeal, which means the case is still open. It is not uncommon that cases against abusive employers drag on for years,” O’Neil said." … 2003085549