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Taiwan's fingerprinting plan decried as discriminatory

Taiwan's fingerprinting plan decried as discriminatory

Taipei, Dec. 29 (CNA) A new requirement for workers and spouses from four Southeast Asian countries to submit fingerprint records as part of their Taiwan visa applications is discriminatory, civic groups said Thursday. Hsiao Hsiu-ling, CEO of the Pearl S. Buck Foundation in Taipei, told CNA that her foundation is not against fingerprinting to combat human trafficking, prevent fake marriages or protect law-abiding workers. "But why single out these four countries? That is a kind of profiling and a possible human rights infringement," said Hsiao whose foundation provides services to foreign spouses and their children in Taiwan. The new requirement, which will take effect next year, will apply only to workers and spouses from Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines who are seeking resident visas to stay in Taiwan for six months or more, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said earlier in the day. Thomas Chen, director general of the MOFA's Bureau of Consular Affairs, said the main concern behind the new measure is that "the issue of identity cards is not a scrupulous process in these countries." There have been cases in which nationals of these countries have re-applied under a different name when their Taiwan visas expired, he said. But Wang Chuan-ping, CEO of the New Immigrants Labor Rights Association, said the new requirement is "discriminatory." "If the government wants to fingerprint people, everyone should be fingerprinted, regardless of where they're from," Wang said. She said the association will take action if the government decides to go through with the plan. Meanwhile, the National Immigration Agency said it plans to implement the policy for foreign workers, but not for foreign spouses. (By Christie Chen)


Updated : 2021-04-21 16:59 GMT+08:00