About 38 percent of foreign domestic workers in Taiwan have been verbally or physically abused by employers or household members, while less than half seek help, a survey conducted by the Garden of Hope Foundation found.
About 250,000 migrants work in Taiwanese households, more than 240,000 as caregivers and 1,800 as maids, foundation executive director Chi Hui-jung (紀惠容) told a workshop yesterday.
As shown by 35 percent of respondents, most victims do not seek help after being exploited, physically attacked or even sexually assaulted because they fear losing their job, said Kaili Lee (李凱莉), director of the foundation’s foreign assistance center.
About 31 percent of respondents said they did not seek help because of their inability to speak Chinese, while 26 percent said they did not know who to turn to for help, she said.
Those who sought help most often used the Ministry of Labor’s 24-hour 1995 hotline for foreign workers, labor brokerages, friends, relatives or local labor authorities, Lee added.
The survey, conducted in March, collected 510 valid questionnaires from foreign domestic workers — 400 from the Philippines, 104 from Indonesia and six from Vietnam — 60 percent of whom had worked in Taiwan for more than three years.
Although it is illegal in Taiwan for employers to keep a domestic helper’s passport, national health insurance card or residency permit, more than 20 percent of respondents said that their employer kept their documents, Lee said.
The results showed that about 84 percent of caregivers said they were the only one looking after the person in need, while 35 percent said they rarely had eight hours of uninterrupted rest a day.
Although Taiwan raised the monthly wage for foreign domestic helpers from NT$15,840 to NT$17,000 in September 2015, 29.61 percent of respondents received less than that per month, the results showed.
The results showed that the failure of employers to provide safe accommodation and their failure to provide substitute help correlated highly with incidences of sexual abuse against domestic helpers, Lee said, adding that not having substitute help was especially predictive of abuse.
Foreign domestic helpers, who are not covered by the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法), need the consent of their employer to receive a pay hike, which is why nearly one-third of them have stagnant wages, analysts said.
The Hualien District Prosecutors’ Office has listed six people as suspects in a judicial investigation into a fatal train crash on Friday last week. Fifty people were killed and more than 200 were injured when the Taroko Express No. 408 train slammed into a crane truck that had slid onto the tracks near the entrance of Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林). The office also summoned six officials at the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) Hualien Engineering Section for questioning about alleged illegal business operations and unsafe work conditions by Yi Hsiang Industry Co and Tung Hsin Construction Co, the two
The navy’s new 10,600-tonne warship is on Tuesday to be christened the ROCN Yushan (玉山), as the nation’s indigenous shipbuilding program reaches a milestone, sources said yesterday. The vessel, previously referred to as the “new landing platform dock,” was at a shipyard with its name freshly painted on the hull with the number 1401, the Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times) reported yesterday, citing an unnamed observer. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), a member of the legislature’s National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, confirmed the report in a Facebook post. The NT$4.635 billion (US$163 million) ship is designed
DIALOGUE SOUGHT: Washington said it was concerned about the pattern of ongoing attempts to intimidate Taiwan after the 10th day of PLA activity in the region The US on Monday urged Beijing to stop its multifaceted pressure campaign against Taiwan after China sent 25 military jets into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. “The United States notes with concern the pattern of ongoing PRC [People’s Republic of China] attempts to intimidate the region, including Taiwan,” a US Department of State spokesperson said in an e-mail response to questions. “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan, and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan.” The Ministry of National Defense said that 25 Chinese military aircraft entered the zone on Monday. It was the 10th straight
‘NOT ENTHUSIASTIC’: People who have been approved by the CECC as special cases who need to travel, such as foreign diplomats, would be able to receive a vaccine The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday expanded the eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination to the fourth priority group — people who need to travel abroad for special reasons — adding that out-of-pocket vaccines would be available from Wednesday next week. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said although Taiwan’s COVID-19 vaccination program was on Monday expanded to include the top three groups in the priority list, people are still “not enthusiastic” about getting vaccinated. “Only 1,220 people received a vaccine shot on Tuesday, and a total of 27,113 people have received COVID-19 vaccination” so far, he