U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Taiwan

Taiwan (Tier 1)

Taiwan is a source, transit and destination region for persons trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labor. Victims are trafficked to Taiwan from China, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Some victims are lured to Taiwan as brides or under other false pretenses; others are aware of the work they will be doing and are abused after their arrival. Taiwan's lucrative sex trade, widespread people-to-people exchanges with Mainland China, and large-scale movement of foreign workers provide opportunities for traffickers to exploit victims. Women from Taiwan are trafficked to Japan for the commercial sex trade. Illegal migrants transit Taiwan on their way to North America, where some, such as Mainland Chinese, are destined for forced labor to repay traffickers.

Taiwan authorities fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Taiwan recognizes the problem of trafficking in persons and has carried out commendable anti-trafficking measures, most notably to prevent the exploitation of minors. Officials devote substantial efforts to interdict the illegal movement of travelers through Taipei's international airport.


Authorities in Taiwan financially support anti-trafficking public awareness efforts by the NGO community. The authorities support the work of NGOs to prevent domestic violence and deal with family issues that may be a root cause of sex trafficking. Taiwan's president personally helped launch a prevention campaign directed at teenage girls, which are an at-risk population group. Tourism officials work with NGOs, hotels, and travel agents to discourage sex tourism. In 2003, authorities in Taiwan issued regulations designed to curb the rate of fraudulent marriages between Taiwanese citizens and foreign spouses.


Taiwan has a statute that specifically penalizes trafficking in children for sexual exploitation, and it has other statutes that criminalize general trafficking activities. According to data from authorities on Taiwan, there were 233 indictments and 122 convictions during 2002 under these statutes; some of these cases are still pending. Law enforcement authorities are trained to investigate and prosecute internet-related sex crimes involving minors. On labor matters, authorities also take steps to police manpower recruitment agencies and employers, who occasionally traffick foreign laborers. Authorities in Taiwan deal with the governments of Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam in an attempt to regulate the recruitment of foreign laborers in Taiwan. Officials monitor Taiwan's borders, but lack the capacity to prevent some illegal entries carried out by traffickers.


The authorities in Taiwan have worked closely with NGOs to assist women and girls who have been sexually abused. Local centers run by authorities and NGOs provide a wide range of services to victims of sexual assault, including shelter, legal assistance, medical care, and job training. Typically, financial assistance provided by the authorities in Taiwan approaches half of NGO operating expenses. The authorities train police and judicial officials in trafficking issues dealing with victims. Minors who are victims of trafficking are also provided with shelter, counseling and medical care.


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