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Taiwan-born writer blames increased human trafficking on poverty

Taiwan-born writer blames increased human trafficking on poverty

Taipei, April 10 (CNA) Taiwan-born investigative journalist Pai Hsiao-hung (???), who wrote a book on migrant sex workers in Britain based on her undercover observation at brothels, said on Friday that poverty is the main reason behind an increase in human trafficking in many countries around the world. Governments of many countries have blamed the problem on illegal immigrants, and ignored that "poverty is the culprit," Pai said at the release of the Chinese version of her book, titled " Invisible: Britain's Migrant Sex Workers," in Taipei. As part of her research for the book, which was written in English and published by Westbourne Press in 2013, Pai had worked undercover as a housekeeper in brothels in the U.K. Asked why she made reports by pretending to be someone else, the 48-year-old writer said that by being in "the primary scene," she could be close to female immigrants, truly knowing the relationship between workers and employers. When economically-challenged Asian women traveled to Britain for work, they usually end up working in low-paid jobs as cleaners or nannies. In some cases, such migrant workers would be forced to work in the sex trade because of their financial straits, Pai said. The sex workers chose to stay in those jobs for quick money, she noted, citing an example of a single mother from a rural area of China's Fujian Province who traveled to Britain in the hope of earning enough money to support her family living in poverty. She ended up selling her body, and the only English she spoke was "half hour, 50 pounds," Pai recalled. In Pai's book, she said restrictions in the employment market marginalized migrant workers and made them live in poverty. Pai blamed the increasing number of migrant sex workers in Britain on the country's legal system, which she contended fails to control the sex industry. Migrant sex workers, instead of their employers, are punished by the system. Some are fined or sent back to their mother countries, she said. Pai made her fame in the western world with her books, "Chinese Whispers: The True Story Behind Britain's Hidden Army of Labour," which was short-listed for the 2009 Orwell Prize, and "Scattered Sand: The Story of China's Rural Migrants," which won the Bread and Rose Award in 2013. In Taiwan, she is known for being the daughter of Pai Hsiu-hsiung (???), a former deputy Taipei mayor. (By Lee Yi-jung and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-09-25 18:39 GMT+08:00