New Taiwanese Human Rights Group For Foreigners

An organization called the Alliance for the Protection of Immigrant and Migrant Human Rights ( 移民/移住人權修法聯盟 )protested against comments made by a high-ranking Minsitry of Education official Zhou Cande (周燦德).

We should contact this group and tell them about our concerns. While they are clearly focused on the more serious problems immigrants from Southeast Asia face, I think we may be able to convince them that long-term residents of Taiwan also have legitimate complaints as well.

Could we come up with a short list of issues?

  1. Volunteer work

  2. Work Permits

  3. Discrimination in access to services


Different interpretations of the laws by different government departments, or by gov’t departments in different locations

Requirements to submit documentation which is not part of the application process (according to the law) in regard to a wide type of application procedures (including permanent residency, etc.)

many abuses of the work permit system . . . . . . and particularly the fact that there is no mechanism at the city or county government level for foreigners and employers to go into any kind of arbitration to settle their differences, hence (in the worst case scenario)

  • you may be terminated at the will of the employer, whereby he/she notifies the foreign affairs police and they cancel your ARC without any due process . . . . .

Setting up an immigration appeals tribunal so that resident foreigners with visa issues can have their cases reviewed by an independent body.

This is what I have been talking about in another forum. Let’s organize ourselves and present our cases to the government as a group. They can easily ignore us if we pop up one by one, even deport us. If you show up in numbers, they will have no choice but to deal with us or look like cowards and cause a scene by deporting us all. I don’t think they would risk that.

Topics like volunteer work and labour laws are very important issues that need to be dealt with. We can petition our trade offices and the presidents office and contact local media.

We need to be properly organized so whatever they throw at us, we can deal with. It’s about time.

Governments won’t change unless the people do.

If it’s going to happen for us, we have to do it ourselves. No one is waiting to wipe our tears.

That’s what I am talking about in the FAPA post… not a political party but a Political Action Committee or a lobby group. An organization to lobby for the interests of “foreigners” living in Taiwan and circumvents the “taxation without representation” clauses of the ROC Constitution. In the US there is a group that represents Mexican (non-citizen) farm labor…etc…

[quote]That’s what I am talking about in the FAPA post…

I thought you were talking about this FAPA.
Formosa Association for Public Affairs ( one of Taiwan’s US lobby groups.)

yeah… change the “F” to “Foreigner” to illustrate the point.

That’s the whole point, to let the government know we are here and we want to be able to exercise our rights.

Has anyone ever encountered a Taiwanese person that insists that Taiwan is a democratic country, and that foreigners have it great here?

I have. I have had some pretty deep conversations with these people and I realize something.

It’s not so much as the government directly stating, “foreigners don’t have the right to…”

Especially people from the West. It’s that they think we are so lucky to come to Taiwan and make so much money. All the people that I have ever tried to have a political discussion with all say, “but foreigners make so much money, why can’t they be happy here? Impossible.” The impossible part is about rights violations that we discussed.

So on the local level, they refuse to believe that we are not happy here. They think we have it made, and anyone that doesn’t appreciate that doesn’t appreciate Taiwan ect ect.

Intentional or not, I am tired of being treated like this. What the hell? we can’t even volunteer? Why not?

The idea of an independent appeal panel is excellent and shouldn’t stop on this forum. We need to get organized. I think that Hartzell or Lear would be the best candidates to be the “leaders” so to speak.

They deserve it for the efforts and they have the most experience. I also think it is important that we are all on the same page. How are we going to go about this. Media, lights, camera action! type of deal? or silent letters and whatever else that doesn’t cause too much attention.

I hope that we are able to maintain our focus. The site is going down for a couple of days. While we are all away we should think about the issues that matter to us and how we wish to go about dealing with them.

have a good weekend.

It’s not entirely untrue, actually. How many foreigners would still be here if they were all paid local wage rates or less and couldn’t teach English to support themselves? How many would have come here in the first place if they faced working conditions and lack of rights similar to the average Southeast Asian?

I thought you were Hartzell, or one of the many “posters” that are actually him (but now you’re not using a lot of bold, so I could be wrong).

It’s not entirely untrue, actually. How many foreigners would still be here if they were all paid local wage rates or less and couldn’t teach English to support themselves? How many would have come here in the first place if they faced working conditions and lack of rights similar to the average Southeast Asian?[/quote]

Not really the point. You assume that all foreigners make more money here than they did at home and in any case more than Taiwanese people. You know that’s not true.

I don’t know if it’s true or not. Do you have statistics?

Thats a good question, how much do Taiwanese ppl make?

Based on this Taipei Site: … topicid=-1

They make NT$674,000 (or US$21,589) /year or 56.1k NT/month. If thats the case, than I know many foreigners including myself who do not make that much. I also know many locals that make nowhere near that much.

But other TW gov sites, like this one state it at about 11k USD /year or about 33k NT/month, which all foreigners earn more than. … nomy04.htm

And this site … aipei.html

states avg income at about $17k USD/year which is also quite high, higher than the foreigners and locals I know make. Perhaps I just hang out wid da “poor” ppl.

Anyone know the real number? Who/What organization would be the authority on this? Tax Dept. of TW?

Well, I know for sure that I am not paid more than some local teachers at our school. I get paid more than some of them due to skills, but I also know of a few people with somehow “questionable” skills getting more than me. (and of some of my local colleagues getting paid less than they are doing/worth) I don’t care for this overly, because money wasn’t really the reason why I came to Taiwan in the first place. If it was only money I was after, I shouldn’t have come here at all… (Which doesn’t mean I am not interested in getting paid. :smiley: But a nice environment means much to me…)

When I did something completely different in a previous life in Taizhong, I got paid even less. I didn’t care for quite a while because we (some of my colleagues and me) had a relatively pleasant and especially interesting time there - until the management went really mad. (They always had been a bit.) Then we just left…

Anyway - I don’t know of any “special rights” I would enjoy for the sole reason of being a white foreigner. I know some people are enjoying such “rights”, but then again that doesn’t make all foreigners be the same…

The “average” wage in the UK is supposed to be

For all these “numbers,” I’d also add (or subtract depending on your view) that most western countries have a form of retirement fund for the elderly. In the US, it’s called social security. Don’t know what it’s called elsewhere.

Taiwan has nothing like that. So might have to alter your numbers a bit to take that into account.

[color=black][b]…there is something irrepressible maniacal in the “great-Chinese” nature.
Some of that inevitably migrated to Taibei…

When they’ll become Taiwanese they’ll become more normal…
…normal maniacality of all governments…[/b][/color]

Is it just me? :astonished: :loco: :astonished: :eh: :wanker:

From here:

“The substantive regular monthly pay to employees in Taiwan in the first seven months dropped, for the first time in 24 years, from one year earlier to reach NT$35,010, according to statistics compiled by the Cabinet-level Directorate General of Budget, Accounting & Statistics.”

If these two posts are any indication, I’d say most foreigners (the ones most likely to be posting here and reading here) seem to be doing a hell of a lot better than NT$35,000 a month.

[quote=“Tomas”]In Taipei, it isn’t too difficult to work 30 hours a week and make NT$80,000 a month. Most of the folks I know who’ve been here for more than a year are doing that. Find a job that pays NT$700 with four hours a day, and you’ve already covered $55,000-60,000 of that. Take on some private students, teach weekends, or get a morning job for a few hour a day, and you’re there. There are several routes you can go with.
The ability to speak and read Mandarin helps a great deal in getting over the NT100,000 a month benchmark. It also makes life here a lot more fun.[/quote]

[quote=“ScottSommers”]nt$100,000 may sound like a lot of money to all those newbies who just got off the plane, and if you’re fresh out of college, it sure seems like a lot more than you were making at your summer job, but the problem is not how much money you can make in Taiwan. The problem is how much work it is to make that much money.