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Cablegate: Taiwan's National Immigration Agency Strengthens

VZCZCXRO7708
PP RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHHM
DE RUEHIN #1648/01 3290803
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 240803Z NOV 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0438
INFO RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 4450
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8754
RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 3695
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 4390
RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR 4040
RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 0670
RUEHPF/AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH 0712
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9919
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 7516
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0392
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 2912
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 0021
RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 0433
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 0208
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 2329
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHHJJAA/JICPAC HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 TAIPEI 001648

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE PASS G/TIP/MARK TAYLOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ELAB TW
SUBJECT: TAIWAN'S NATIONAL IMMIGRATION AGENCY STRENGTHENS
EFFORTS TO COMBAT TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

1. (SBU) Summary: Taiwan is taking concrete steps to
strengthen anti-trafficking efforts, including, for example,
implementing measures to protect victims and allow them to
obtain temporary work and residency permits, emphasize
National Immigration Agency (NIA) officials. Moreover,
Taiwan's Executive Yuan (EY) has approved a draft
comprehensive trafficking law for submission to the
Legislative Yuan (LY). NIA officials, who hope these and
other steps will help Taiwan return to Tier 1 status in the
U.S. TIP report, tell us they face challenges in addressing
TIP issues, including the lack of official relations with
labor source countries and the need to extend labor
protections to domestic caregivers. The recent visit by DOJ
senior TIP prosecutor helped further U.S.-Taiwan discussions
and provided working-level Taiwan law enforcement authorities
with concrete models for action. NIA supports better
coordination between and among Taiwan authorities and NGOs,
systematic implementation of victim identification procedures
and protections, and extension of labor protections to
domestic caregivers. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Over the course of two recent anti-trafficking
conferences and a separate meeting with AIT, National
Immigration Agency (NIA) Deputy Director General Hsieh
Li-kung outlined NIA's efforts to implement a comprehensive
plan to combat trafficking in persons. He noted the budget
for NIA's 3-year (2008-2010) TIP plan is NTD 390 million
(more than USD 10 million). These funds will be used for
training, public awareness, constructing and improving
shelters, and subsidizing measures such as repatriation
costs. Prior to passage of a comprehensive trafficking law,
Hsieh noted, NIA has instituted an ad interim Chapter in the
Immigration Act on the prevention of trafficking and
protection of trafficking victims. The new provisions allow
trafficking victims to obtain temporary work and residency
permits and require that authorities provide protective
measures under the Witness Protection law to victims who
testify. (Note: Taiwan's draft comprehensive trafficking law
has successfully passed the Executive Yuan interagency review
and is set to be submitted to the Legislative Yuan before its
current session ends in December, according to NIA contacts.)

Education and Awareness
-----------------------
3. (SBU) Prevention is a key component of Taiwan's
anti-trafficking action plan, said Hsieh. Therefore, the NIA
has shared its training materials with the Ministry of
Education, which has incorporated them into elementary school
social studies curriculum, clear evidence of Taiwan's
long-term commitment to anti-trafficking. In addition, the
NIA has plans to continue its public awareness campaign with
multi-lingual brochures that provide workers with TIP
indicators and telephone numbers for NIA's trafficking
hotline and the police. NIA is also producing new Public
Service Announcements (PSAs) to be aired on TV and in movie
theaters, and flyers and cards to be distributed at locations
such as bus stops and convenience stores.

Interagency Cooperation
-----------------------
4. (SBU) Although NIA does not have authority over other key
stakeholders, such as the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA), the
Ministry of Justice, and others, it recognizes that a
successful TIP program will require the buy-in of all
agencies who may encounter trafficking during the course of
executing their responsibilities, DDG Hsieh said. As a
result, NIA suggested expanding the membership of the Human
Trafficking Prevention Coordination Committee, which now

TAIPEI 00001648 002 OF 003


includes the deputy heads of fourteen agencies and a number
of outside experts including scholars and NGOs. Even the
Office of Veterans Affairs is included, Hsieh added.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Speaker's Presentation Lauded
--------------------------------------------- ------------
5. (SBU) Jim Felte, Senior Prosecutor in USDOJ's Human
Trafficking Unit and a featured speaker at both the NIA's and
Legal Aid Foundation's two separate anti-trafficking
conferences, was well-received by all participants, said NIA
conference organizers. Felte also participated in a NGO
roundtable and a Ministry of Justice seminar for trafficking
prosecutors, where question-and-answer sessions typically
took the better part of an hour. Both the NGO
representatives as well as Taiwan authorities felt that
Felte's presentation on U.S. experiences in prosecuting
traffickers and providing victim protections both
acknowledged the challenges to anti-trafficking efforts and
provided a launching point for serious discussion of ways in
which Taiwan could approach these challenges.

6. (SBU) Felte noted that questions, particularly those from
Taiwan prosecutors, focused on overcoming real problems in
pursuing trafficking cases, rather than attempting to justify
why Taiwan should not or could not pursue these cases - an
indication, he believed, that the commitment exists to
seriously address the TIP issue.

The Fourth "P" - Partnership
----------------------------
7. (SBU) In addition to the three "Ps" of Taiwan's
anti-trafficking plan - prevention, prosecution, and
protection, Hsieh underlined the importance of a "fourth P -
partnership." Despite the lack of diplomatic recognition by
labor source countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and
Indonesia, Taiwan, through the Council of Labor Affairs and
TECRO offices abroad, is reaching out to these countries in
an effort to coordinate repatriations, encourage better
monitoring of foreign brokers, and provide information to
foreign laborers on their way to Taiwan.

Improving Victim Protections
----------------------------
8. (SBU) DDG Hsieh said that, in addition to improving
existing detention facilities, NIA plans to set up four new
NIA-run shelters. NIA also hopes to complete plans to
integrate interpreter resources from various agencies into
one unified database by the end of year. Hsieh underscored
the need for labor source countries to initiate protections
as well, and for Taiwan to either incorporate domestic
caregivers into the Labor Standards Act, which provides labor
protections for Taiwan workers, or find another way to extend
more comprehensive protections to this vulnerable group of
foreign workers.

Challenges
----------
9. (SBU) DDG Hsieh and other panelists from MOI, CLA, and
elsewhere noted that Taiwan faces special challenges in the
international arena. At a regional level, officials
complained that the lack of official relations with labor
source countries complicates cooperation on regulatory issues
such as those dealing with employment brokers and lenders.
In addition, Taiwan's lack of standing in the UN makes it
difficult to participate fully in international efforts to
cooperatively address trafficking issues. Officials
expressed interest in the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial
Initiative against Trafficking (COMMIT), but as COMMIT is a

TAIPEI 00001648 003 OF 003


UN Inter-Agency Project initiative, they regretted that
Taiwan's participation, at best, would be limited to
unofficial actors. These challenges would complicate efforts
to formulate regional strategies to combat trafficking, a
goal that all parties recognize will require Taiwan's
participation to accomplish.

10. (SBU) Within Taiwan, there is still more work to be done,
noted Hsieh. The issue of domestic caregivers, who currently
do not enjoy any labor protections either under the
Employment Services Act or the Labor Standards Act, should be
addressed, but for many live-in domestic workers, it is hard
to draw clear distinctions between working hours, standby
time, and off hours.

Comment
-------
11. (SBU) NIA, which has consistently demonstrated a strong
commitment to push forward the anti-TIP agenda, has already
instituted wide-ranging reforms from establishing trafficking
hotlines to building new shelters to training law enforcement
on various components of human trafficking. NIA efforts,
however, will not be enough on their own to ensure the full
success of Taiwan's anti-TIP program. Such success will also
require an equivalent commitment by the Council of Labor
Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, and other agencies to the
overall anti-TIP program (septel). One important factor that
is motivating Taiwan to achieve its TIP goals is the desire
to reclaim Tier 1 status in the annual U.S. TIP Report, as a
matter of pride.
RWANG

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