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[US State Dept. allegations] Human trafficking in Taiwan

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[US State Dept. allegations] Human trafficking in Taiwan

Postby Hartzell » 08 Jun 2006, 13:48

US blasts Taiwan over trafficking

The US State Department has accused Taiwan of failing to stem the tide or help the thousands of foreign women and children who are brought to the country from Southeast Asia each year to face a life of prostitution, forced labor or slavery, and has indicated that things are getting worse, not better ......
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/ ... 2003312317
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Postby TainanCowboy » 08 Jun 2006, 14:12

Quite an interesting story.
I expect it to die very quickly from the Taiwan News scene.

In an annual report on global trafficking in persons, the department rated Taiwan as one of the world's worst performers in the global sex trade, on a par with China and other countries like Russia, Cambodia, Equatorial Guinea and Libya.
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Postby Huang Guang Chen » 08 Jun 2006, 14:40

I simply don't get these stories, I mean why would you want to traffic an unwilling prostitute when there are millions more, erh, banging the doors down trying to get in voluntarily?

I suspect it's mostly bullshit. There have been reports elsewhere, most recently in the post-tsunami tales of trafficking women in Thailand, that suggest it is mostly bullshit. Unfortunately I can;t find the article I read on this, but basically it pointed out how aid groups trot out the sensational claim without backing it with numbers. I do believe children are trafficked in China as I have read the legal case files, but I doubt very much that vast numbers are forced into sexual slavery outside China.

Scene one: Whore gets nabbed working illegally and without proper papers. "How did you get here." "I was forced into it."

Smacks of feminazis to me.

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Postby sojourner » 08 Jun 2006, 19:14

HGC,

Are you saying you doubt vast numbers are being trafficked outside of China only with respect to Taiwan?

If you are including S.E. Asia (primarily Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand), South Asia (notably Nepal) and much of the former Soviet Republics in that statement, I'd say you're dead wrong.

As for Taiwan, I don't know. It's definitely a big sex-tourist source, both domestically and abroad. And, you do hear stories of 14 Vietnamese women being discovered in locked sheds, etc...

(EDIT) Also, these "Willing" prostitutes might have other motivations besides earning cash for themselves. They are likely at someone else's mercy and it's unlikely that they signed up willingly to the life, or got an honest picture of what they were getting themselves into in the first place. I'd bet many of what you call willing prostitutes were trafficked to begin with.
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Postby Feiren » 08 Jun 2006, 19:32

Definitions are also important too. Are we talking about prostitutes under 20, 16, 15?
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Postby Eric W. Lier » 08 Jun 2006, 20:11

I can tell you from personal experience that US State Department reports critical of Taiwan tend to be watered down versions of original submissions.
You also need to remember that the US State Department under the Homeland Security statues now has unprecedented access to intelligence from other agencies.
Simply because information isn’t public doesn't mean such reports are not justified, on the contrary many reports omit key information so as not to divulge sources from other agencies or offend "key” allies.
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Postby Huang Guang Chen » 08 Jun 2006, 20:18

Also, these "Willing" prostitutes might have other motivations besides earning cash for themselves. They are likely at someone else's mercy and it's unlikely that they signed up willingly to the life, or got an honest picture of what they were getting themselves into in the first place. I'd bet many of what you call willing prostitutes were trafficked to begin with.


I really wish I could find that article I referred to, but it does make a very good case for aid agenies overplaying this trafficking business and sets out why in the end this is actually a bad thing for the agencies. A tabloid headline if you will, but a misleading headline and one that turns the focus away from the real issues.

I do not see the need to force people into prostitution when economic imperative is force enough. I hope you catch the distinction here, ie, people are forced into it, but they do it willingly to get ahead. Prostitution in this part of the world, among other things, is in the absence of any other means, effectively a single mothers' pension or a means to keep families and siblings alive and out of the game.

Yes I am sure trafficking exists, but only at the very marginal end of the business. I dare say 98% of prostitutes are up for it.

I've just returned from a protracted stay in Zhuhai, which is basically the working Taiwanese and Japanese man's Pattaya. It is full of prostitutes and many are clearly under age. I talked to many of them and saw absolutely no evidence of people working under duress. There is simply no need to do this to women/girls as there are simply more than enough that will volunteer.

Of the women/girls I spoke to, and no, I didn't shag them, without exception they had fled China's rural hinterland for a better life and to help out the families. They came to Zhuhai after being told of the score by friends. It is simply more attractive to be in control of their own destiny via whoring than to stay on the farm, marry a local bloke and live a miserable existence with regular beatings.

Moreover, my girlfriend is Thai, like it or lump it the Thai community in HK is comprised of many prosttitutes. many of my GF's friends are prostitutes (she's not), I can assure you thay are all willing players and simply would not tolerate the spectacle of an unwilling person thrown into their mix. Same applies for the women/girls I met in Zhuhai.

By the way, the person organising these prostitutes is always a woman, an aiyi, not a man.

In order to resolve this issue it needs to be spelled out clearly, not mindlessly politicised. In my way of thinking that is a far greater abuse.

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Postby Eric W. Lier » 09 Jun 2006, 09:22

In order to resolve this issue it needs to be spelled out clearly, not mindlessly politicised. In my way of thinking that is a far greater abuse.

If I am not mistaken, I believe that the reason this report is getting so much attention is because the US State Department has just done that very thing, made it official.
Taiwan is now a world leader in human trafficing. According to this report one of Taiwan's biggest imports are slaves.
Facts About Human Trafficking.
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/rls/33109.htm


TAIWAN (TIER 2)

Taiwan is primarily a destination for women and girls, mainly from the People’s Republic of China (P.R.C.), who are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Some trafficking victims from the P.R.C., Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam are forced or coerced into the commercial sex trade or lured to Taiwan by fraudulent offers of employment or marriage. Some Taiwan women are also trafficked to Japan for sexual exploitation.

Taiwan authorities do not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, they are making significant efforts to do so. Taiwan authorities have increased efforts to provide protection for trafficking victims. Despite prosecutions of traffickers, there is insufficient protection for trafficking victims, particularly for women and girls from the P.R.C. While illegal immigrants from other countries are generally quickly repatriated, the P.R.C. often delays Taiwan efforts to assist P.R.C. victims to return home. Taiwan authorities and NGOs have collaborated in ongoing efforts to develop a plan of action on trafficking. Some law enforcement officials conflate trafficking with smuggling. Taiwan laws criminalize most forms of trafficking but do not address prevention of trafficking or victim protection, which the authorities nonetheless provide on an ad hoc basis.

Prosecution

Taiwan lacks a comprehensive trafficking law providing for preventive measures and victim protection, though most forms of human trafficking are criminalized through a number of different statutes. Trafficking of Taiwan residents abroad or children of any nationality is prohibited by the 1995 Statute for Prevention of Child and Juvenile Sexual Trafficking and provisions in Taiwan’s Criminal Code. Article 296 criminalizes a broad range of forms of trafficking and servitude. Article 296-1 provides for stronger penalties when the crimes are committed by officials. Taiwan authorities report that they indicted 241 and convicted 150 persons under these statutes in 2004. Taiwan authorities took steps in 2004 to address the growing number of Vietnamese women lured to Taiwan as brides and then forced into prostitution. A more stringent law enacted in January 2004 and aimed at cross-Strait trafficking stipulates that any person found guilty of smuggling Mainland Chinese into Taiwan shall be punished with a prison term of three to ten years and fined up to $150,000. Authorities in late March 2005 broke up a trafficking ring run by two Taiwan Army officers and their wives. A year-long investigation into the ring produced a number of arrests for trafficking of P.R.C. women to Taiwan for exploitation in the sex industry. Taiwan authorities have increased training for law enforcement officials on trafficking issues and how to best assist a victim. In early 2005, Taiwan executed a local trafficker convicted of killing P.R.C. victims.

Protection

Foreign victims of trafficking who are not of P.R.C. origin are provided with shelter and counseling and are generally quickly repatriated. Current Taiwan law provides no legal alternative to the return to the P.R.C. of all unlawfully present P.R.C. citizens, including trafficking victims. Taiwan has recently increased efforts to provide protection to P.R.C. trafficking victims. Taiwan law enforcement authorities and NGO social workers interview all illegal immigrants in detention centers in order to identify possible trafficking victims. Women and girls identified as trafficking victims are housed in a separate wing, where they are provided with access to social workers, health care, vocational activities, and counseling. Women with children have an additional, separate area within the facility. Identified trafficking victims are exempt from rules that apply to criminal detainees. There is no policy or law that requires the authorities to evaluate whether victims would face persecution or retribution upon returning to the P.R.C. Authorities have established an island-wide toll-free "113 Women's and Children’s Protection" hotline.

Prevention

Taiwan law enforcement authorities are working to intercept criminal syndicates that smuggle P.R.C. migrants, including trafficking victims, to Taiwan. Taiwan continued its support of NGO anti-trafficking prevention programs, with government funding for public awareness programs targeting minors and awareness campaigns targeting Southeast Asian women who marry Taiwan men, including publicity campaigns funded by Taiwan in source countries. Taiwan officials have raised public awareness of the dangers of pornography and the use of the Internet to lure children into the sex trade. Social workers automatically visit high-school students with unexcused school absences to provide counseling and to ensure that the children do not fall into the sex trade or other illicit activities.


http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2 ... htm#taiwan
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Postby Dr Zoidberg » 09 Jun 2006, 09:39

Tales of how hordes of Canadian men were flocking to Thailand for sex with young girls prompted the government to enact an anti-sex tourism law.

Any Canadian caught indulging in sex tourism, anywhere in the world, can be prosecuted upon his return to Canada. The RCMP even has agents in Thailand scouting for the Canadian sex tourist.

Interestingly, that law was enacted years ago and yet no Canadian has ever been charged under it.

One has to wonder about such tales... :ponder:
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Postby Edgar Allen » 09 Jun 2006, 09:42

HG

I think what you are missing is the fact that you seem to be referring to freelance girls, as opposed to those forced to work in a captive environment. I read a book several years ago called "sex slaves" which was explicitly about trafficking in Asia, and whilst sensational in parts other sections fascinated me as you just cannot see what goes on.

There are places in HK where girls work in massage parlours, or just out of a room and I suspect many are not happy with their work environments, let alone the job description. I am also aware of this in India, Malaysia and Thailand so can easily believe that the same kind of thing happens here. Note that this is not about girls serving the "top end" of themarket but those forced into serving the "bottom end" local markets and making very little if any money from their "labour".

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