Migrants Empowerment Network in Taiwan (MENT) organized the "Traces of Transition: 30 Years of 'Migrant Workers'/20 Years of MENT International Conference," a two-day event that kicked off today (16) at Soochow University's downtown campus. Representatives from civil organizations in the Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand gathered to support the conference. In the afternoon session on the "Unfinished Migrant Workers' Movement," Taiwanese non-profit organizations related to migrant workers shared their experiences in NGO practices.
During the discussion on the "Unfinished Migrant Workers' Movement," various civil organizations shared their recent activities, the successes and failures of these activities, and the directions they will continue to strive for in the future. The session began with an introduction by the Catholic Hsinchu Diocese's Social Work Group, an organization that has been serving migrants and immigrant workers for nearly 38 years. Liu Xiaoying, the director of the Catholic Church's Hsinchu Diocese Migrants and Immigrant Workers Service Center, stated that their main activities include providing services for immigrants and migrant workers, focusing on resettlement services, positive education, and labor education for migrant workers. Through the strength of the church, they aim to help vulnerable migrant workers and immigrants and provide appropriate assistance.
Du Guangyu, founder of Serve the People Association, assists migrants and immigrants on various levels. The "Mass Services Association," founded by Du, operates on a non-profit intermediary model. They only charge migrant workers for the initial fee and do not collect any further fees. The organization also facilitates the transition from intermediary contracts to direct hiring. The "Non-profit Home Care Service" mainly targets new immigrants, training them to engage in home care work and combining it with caring for elderly individuals living alone. Du Guangyu shared a humorous situation where he accompanied three new immigrant sisters to register for the government's home care service class. He successfully registered, but the other three new immigrant sisters were rejected. He found this situation amusing and later felt that they could establish a "non-profit home care service class" to help more new immigrants.
The Taiwan Association for Human Rights has long been concerned about the rights of foreign fishery workers, and Secretary-General Shi Yixiang shared experiences related to advocating for the rights of foreign fishery workers subjected to forced labor. The Foreign Fisheries Workers' Human Rights Protection Alliance launched its first public action in 2018 and has been advocating for the "WI-FI rights" of deep-sea fishing workers in recent years. Taiwan has faced international scrutiny and damage to its national image due to past cases of severe abuse of foreign fishery workers, often referred to as the "blood and sweat of the fishing industry."
In addition to assisting in educating and advocating for the rights of care migrant workers and foreign fishery workers, migrant worker groups also help solve life challenges for caregivers and provide healthcare knowledge. They also assist Taiwanese people in understanding migrant workers through workshops. These organizations gathered at today's international conference to share the difficulties and challenges faced by migrant workers in Taiwan.
〔NOWnews / Report from Reporter Lai Zhenglin / Taipei〕2023-12-16 16:01:21
〔photo from Reporter Lai Zhenglin〕