Taiwan sex slaves

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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article and the Additional file 1. In the past, domestic trafficking in women and girls often targeted vulnerable groups such as young girls from poor families or minority groups.

Since the s, an increasing flow of immigrant women, mainly from Vietnam and Indonesia and some from China, into Taiwan has created a new group of Human Trafficking victims. The current study intends to identify, describe, and categorize reported and prosecuted human trafficking cases involving women and girls according to the HTPA in Taiwan.

The analysis is based on 37 court cases, involving victimized women and girls and perpetrators. This study identifies six forms of Human Trafficking victims according to their country of origin, vulnerability status, and means of transport. This study found that women and girls suffer from both labor and sexual exploitation, from mainly domestic male perpetrators. While sexual exploitation is more evenly distributed among citizens and immigrants and affects both adults and minors, labor exploitation seems to be an exclusive phenomenon among women immigrant workers in the data.

Human Trafficking cases in Taiwan share many of the similarities of Human Trafficking in other regions, which are highly associated with gender inequality and gender-based vulnerability. The online version of this article Human Trafficking hereafter HTeither domestic or cross-national, is a gender issue [ 1 ].

As a region under the influence of Confucianism, Taiwan has embedded patriarchal values in families and societies where women are considered inferior to men [ 45 ]. In the past, trafficking in women and girls was seldom under the spotlight since society largely tolerated commoditization and exploitation of women and girls. In early days, trafficking in women and girls in Taiwan, e. However, this problem turned more visible when a new disadvantaged group became the target of exploitation and slavery, namely migrant workers since the s to the present day.

Department of State. Under the legislation and related policy framework, the problem of trafficking domestic women and girls has finally started to catch the attention of law enforcement agencies. With the end of cold war, globalization has affected Taiwan. Globalization has accelerated the economic growth of many developing countries through the creation of an internationally integrated market. Economic expansion has demanded cheaper labor in the competitive global market [ 8 ].

Taiwan, having a relatively more developed economy in Asia, started to experience labor shortages, and therefore developed a raised demand for migrant workers [ 8 ].

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As a result, Taiwan began to import foreign laborers, mainly in agriculture, manufacturing, construction, domestic work, and healthcare. At the end ofthe total of migrant workers has reached , not including more than 20, undocumented workers. The Global Slavery Index estimated that However, existing reports which include the Asian Pacific countries or territories provide only limited information on HT in Taiwan.

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First of all, international reports for comparison purposes often emphasize cross-border trafficking and neglect domestic trafficking [ 7910 ]. Secondly, different reports produced with different methodologies often provide mixed Taiwan cases, either overstatement or understatement. For example, in the Trafficking in Persons Report by the U. A similar is found a decade ago in the United Nations report which defines Taiwan as one of the major destination regions of HT in Asia [ 9 ].

The US report implies that more thanmigrant workers in Taiwan are in a vulnerable situation, increasing the risks of HT, which might be an overstatement.

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In another report, namely the Global Slavery Index, Taiwan is listed among countries and 25 among 27 Asian Pacific countries by prevalence of population in modern slavery [ 3 ]. The Global Slavery Index estimates the population in Taiwan who lives in the status of modern slavery to be as low as 0. These polarized s suggest that the current situation of HT in Taiwan remains an empirical question which is worth exploring. According to the HTPA passed inthe legal definition of HT in Taiwan is categorized into four different types: 1 sexual exploitation; 2 labor exploitation with force; 3 labor exploitation without force; and 4 sexual or labor exploitation of minors.

HT might be conducted in various forms in different places, depending on the economic, political, and social context. The pattern and flow of HT might also change over time as a consequence of economic and demographic disparities. The trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation has been the most reported pattern of HT in Asian countries [ 9 ].

Sexual exploitation, which appears in the majority of available materials in Japan and Korea, is most frequently cited as a form of HT, with women from Thailand, Philippines, Colombia and Taiwan being trafficked to Japan and South Korea [ 812 ].

In recent years, trafficking has become less heard of for Taiwanese women to be trafficked to other countries. Instead, the documented trend is for Chinese women to be trafficked to Taiwan and Hong Kong as sex workers [ 1314 ]. Forced marriage has been reported in several Asian countries, such as China, both for domestic women and foreign women from Vietnam and North Korea [ 8 ].

Forced marriage as an important form of HT in Asian context has been interpreted differently compared to mail-order brides in America or European countries. Forced marriage in Asian context is more akin to commercial marriages described in an Australia report, which found commercial marriages in Australia to be a means of trafficking people for exploitative purposes [ 15 ].

Lu argues that the cross-national marriage phenomenon should be understood in the Eastern context where both paying a bride price and arranged marriages are culturally acceptable and desirable. Whether a woman in cross-border marriage becomes a HT victim depends upon the manifestation of her vulnerability derived from the imbalance of power relations as a result of the nature of matchmaking.

Labor exploitation is also a prevalent form of HT which deserves more attention in the Asian context. studies have identified some vulnerable occupations such as construction, agriculture, restaurants, fishing and catering services, and domestic and care work [ 101718 ]. Among these risky occupations, migrant domestic servants are more often studied and cited as HT victims.

In a qualitative study of Ethiopian domestic workers in Yemen, De Regt describes labor exploitation as commonplace among contract domestic workers for several reasons [ 19 ]. Secondly, if a woman chose to work illegally as a freelancer, she was more likely to work under exploitative or even abusive conditions, being denied the right to negotiate salary and workload. Lacking access to legal job offers, Ethiopian women usually became trafficking victims because of the money borrowed from recruitment agents turning into debt bondage [ 819 ].

The UN trafficking protocol places emphasis on organized trafficking through criminal networks which are dominated by men [ 20 ]. The prevailing legal perspective has influenced existing empirical work which focuses on hierarchical and core traffickers, where both are criminal organizations using force and violence to traffic persons for profit [ 9 ]. The empirical support for the legal discourse is, however, limited. Among the 92 pimps interviewed, most of them worked alone and had other jobs besides pimping.

As to the nationality and gender of traffickers, research shows mixed findings.

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Some argue that HT is an underground economy which is dominated by male perpetrators. Other reports, such as cross-national comparison reports, suggested that the traffickers and their victims are homogeneous in terms of gender and race, meaning that trafficked women and girls usually are under the control of women traffickers from the same country of origin [ 29 ].

Although advocates try to acknowledge that anyone might become a victim of HT, the people who are at higher risk of victimization often come from vulnerable groups, including undocumented immigrants, runaway youths, women and the poor [ 23 ]. Fuchs, on the other hand, argues that both legal and illegal migrant workers are at risk of HT in Taiwan [ 10 ]. For legal migrant workers, they might be the victims of their own employers or organized illegal brokers, both before or after they become undocumented.

This suggests that victimization built into the employment structure might be the root cause of the high volume of migrant workers who become HT victims. Attractive targets of HT also show some quality that makes them potential victims, such as a young age, rural residence, and limited job experience [ 814 ]. In the Netherlands, victims of labor exploitation are characteristically undocumented migrants, legal migrants who have limited access to the labor market, women with a dependent residence permit, and marginalized Dutch nationals [ 17 ].

The majority of HT victims in the Netherlands are between 18 and 30 years old, younger than their traffickers [ 22 ]. Since the definition of HT emphasizes the use of vulnerable situation as a means of exploitation, women and girls under sex trafficking are more likely to be reported in the literature. However, some researchers criticize the traditional image of trafficked women as involuntary, helpless and vulnerable and who are forced into sex work by their traffickers, as not speaking for all women sex workers.

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McCabe, on the other hand, include those who are initially voluntary but are later placed in unacceptable and undesired working conditions as sexual exploitation victims [ 24 ]. McCabe also stresses that the situation of victims who initially consented to the work might be even harsher than those who are forced or deceived into sex work.

These victims are usually reluctant to report the crime and when they report, they are usually perceived as unworthy of legal assistance. After interviewing 58 mainland Chinese women in the sex industry in Hong Kong, Emerton and colleagues estimated that only one in five of these women can be identified as HT victims according to the definition of human trafficking in the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children [ 14 ].

Under this conceptual binary, the line between sex trafficking and voluntary sex work is usually hard to draw, causing many victims to be treated as criminals by the criminal justice system in the context where sex work is illegal [ 1425 ]. Sexually exploited victims often choose to remain in the country they have been trafficked to for sex work [ 26 ]. In other cases, the use of force or deception sometimes only appears in the early days of sex trafficking, and the level of violence decreases or disappears when the trafficked victims become more submissive and cooperative, knowing that their choices are limited [ 2627 ].

The growing of women migrant workers in Taiwan has created a new risk group of HT, which has become the focus of academic and political endeavors. Existing literature in Taiwan and elsewhere have focused mostly on trafficked women and girls from abroad. Native victims of HT are largely disregarded from the picture. Our understanding of HT in Taiwan will not be sufficient without considering both domestic and foreign victims along with the current victim identification under the HTPA.

In addition, the forms of women trafficking and the characteristics of victims and traffickers must be investigated under the unique gender, labor, and migration policies and practices of Taiwan. The current HT legislation covers both domestic and foreign victims of trafficking in Taiwan.

According to the Legislative Yuan i. The aim of this current research is: first, to identify and describe the typologies of reported HT in Taiwan using court proceedings; second, to discuss the characteristics of HT victims, offenders and trafficking process of the detected cases in Taiwan and compare the findings with research literature in other countries. The main research method of this paper is court proceeding analysis.

Initially proceedings were identified.

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The aim was to depict the current situation and result of prosecution cases with women and girls victims of HT. Two conditions must be met: firstly, the offences must be prosecuted as a HT violation and the HTPA must be mentioned; and secondly, cases must involve women or girls as victims.

If the cases which meet the above two conditions have male victims, the male victims were excluded from the analysis. In addition, cases were excluded if the proceedings were 1 not related directly to HT 4 cases ; 2 offences conducted before the HT Protection Act 36 cases ; 3 not prosecuted by the HT Protection Act 40 cases ; 4 mistakenly recorded 4 cases ; and 5 with no identifiable women or girls as victims 11 cases.

As a result, the of analyzed court proceedings totals 37 cases, involving women and girls victims of HT. These proceedings were firstly carefully reviewed. Secondly, a coding book was developed, comprising 20 variables in four groups. A quantitative dataset comprising 37 cases is created for later analysis. The first group of variables is the case background information, including court, processing days, procedure, and investigation unit.

Taiwan sex slaves

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Human trafficking in Taiwan