Civic groups demand rights for Taiwan’s migrant workers

Civic groups demand rights for Taiwan’s migrant workers (TVBS News)
Civic groups demand rights for Taiwan’s migrant workers (TVBS News)

TAIPEI (TVBS News)—Several civic groups rallied at the Executive Yuan on Wednesday (June 20) to support the draft bill for "Protection of the rights and interests of new Taiwanese residents" (新住民權益保障法草案). They advocated for comprehensive legislative measures to safeguard the welfare of Taiwan's migrant workers.

The groups presented four key demands: the creation of a dedicated unit within the Executive Yuan to manage immigration policy and new resident rights, a broader legal definition of 'new residents' to include blue-collar workers and the establishment of a legal interpreter training program. They also urged incorporating human rights protections and anti-discrimination clauses into the Basic Act of New Residents.

The groupsincludethe Immigration and Resettlement Human Rights Amendment Alliance (移民移住人權修法聯盟), TransAsia Sisters Association, Taiwan (南洋台灣姊妹會), New Second Generation Voice Recorder (新二代留聲機), and Serve the People Association, Taoyuan (桃園群眾服務協會).

Earlier on June 12, the Legislative Yuan passed the first reading of a special act for new residents but failed to decide on crucial aspects, such as the precise definition of "new residents" and the responsibilities of the central authority overseeing these affairs.

The civic groups criticized this omission as discriminatory, noting that the current drafts focus solely on white-collar and professional foreign workers, ignoring the substantial contributions of blue-collar migrant workers to Taiwan's economy. Following this, the bill is set to enter cross-party negotiations in the Legislative Yuan, with immigrant groups planning to meet with political leaders next week to press for a thorough consideration of their concerns.

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