Ministry to Protect Rights of Pregnant Migrant Workers


Recently in Taipei, there have been two major cases reported involving child protection issues. It's been said that both cases involve children of missing migrant workers. However, Minister of Labor Hsu Ming-chun clarified during a special report at the Legislative Yuan on the morning of the 20th that only one of them is actually a child of a migrant worker. Responding to concerns from legislators, she mentioned that under the current system, migrant workers often face contract termination upon pregnancy, leading them to choose to disappear. The Ministry of Labor stated that they will develop guidelines for "Pregnancy Rights Protection for Migrant Workers" to ensure the rights of both the workers and the employers.

In recent days, there have been reports of one infant death and another girl hospitalized for observation, both cases reported in Taipei and involving missing migrant workers.

On the morning of the 20th, Minister of Labor Hsu Ming-chun stated that among the reported cases, one involves the child of a foreign student, while only one is the child of a missing migrant worker. Regarding this issue, the Executive Yuan has already convened inter-agency consultations, and the Ministry of Labor will subsequently develop relevant guidelines.

Minister Hsu Ming-chun stated, "The Department of Labor Development is currently drafting guidelines for the protection of the rights of pregnant migrant workers, with the aim of providing assistance before and after pregnancy."

Minister Hsu Ming-chun made her remarks during a special report to the Health and Environment Committee of the Legislative Yuan. She mentioned that over the past 20 years, there have been about 3,500 children of missing migrant workers, with approximately 18,000 "undocumented" babies.

However, Kuomintang (KMT) legislator Chen Jing-hui pointed out that in the first half of 2023, four out of five pregnant migrant workers who received maternity subsidies left the country. With such a high probability of contract termination after pregnancy, it's no wonder that pregnant migrant workers prefer to disappear and continue to stay to earn money.

Chen Jing-hui said, "For pregnant migrant workers, there are really only two unfortunate choices: either go back, or become children that our social safety net cannot catch."

Some legislators also demanded that there should be a dedicated unit to handle these issues.

KMT legislator Wang Yu-min said, "There should be a dedicated unit to handle this on a daily basis, instead of using an ad hoc approach like you are now. This won't solve the problem."

The Ministry of Labor stated that last year, about 2,000 migrant workers returned to their home countries due to contract termination caused by pregnancy. How to ensure the rights of "undocumented" babies is currently the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, with various ministries sharing the workload.

〔PTS / Comprehensive report from reporters Lin Jingmei and Zhuang Zhicheng〕2024-03-20 19:31

〔Editor / Huang Yuqiao〕2024-03-20 20:45

〔Photo from Unsplash Trung Nhan Tran〕