Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A rude awakening

Since about mid-July I've been spending my time in Ottawa, New York, Boston, Japan and Taipei feeling somewhat protected from the worries of the world. But on my way back to Kaohsiung yesterday, I faced a rude awakening from my dream when I heard about the violence that errupted amongst the Kaohsiung MRT Thai workers.

Click here for the full story in the Taipei Times.

Frankly, I'm not entirely surprised that such a situation has happened or been happening. While I've been in Taiwan I have heard of several cases in which domestic workers (home health aides, nannies, housekeepers), particularly those from South East Asian countries, have been verbally, emotionally or physically abused by their employers. These foreign workers often have very little recourse. They are stuck in a foreign country with very little skills or means, and therefore feel unable to leave their employer. They simply may not even be able to afford legal assistance or a return ticket home. They afraid if they speak up or seek justice that they might be repatriated as a result.

This just goes to show that Taiwan has a lot of room for improvement where basic human rights are concerned.

For more facts and statistics on foreign workers in Taiwan, click here.


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