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Migrant workers to march for equal treatment on Sunday

Migrant workers to march for equal treatment on Sunday

Taipei, Dec. 9 (CNA) Migrant workers will hold a march in Taipei on Sunday to call for equal treatment of all people involved in the provision of long-term care in Taiwan, sponsors of the rally announced Wednesday. The march, held every two years, has set "care justice" as its theme, meaning equal treatment of seniors, the disabled, their family members, foreign caregivers, and household caretakers without the fear of being exploited, hurt or sacrificed. Chuang Hui-ling (???), a migrant worker representative and head of Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN-Taiwan), said there are about 770,000 people in Taiwan currently in need of long-term care, of whom 450,000 (58 percent) are cared for by their families and 230,000 (30 percent) are cared for by foreign caregivers. Another 4 percent are taken care of in institutions and the remaining 8 percent receive household services from the government. Liu Hsiao-ying (???), a counselor with the Hsinchu Catholic Diocese Migrants and Immigrants Service Center, said family members or foreign caregivers spend up to 14 hours a day for an average of 10 years caring for people with long-term care needs. "This has been a tremendous burden to them physically and emotionally, but the issue has not been recognized or heeded by the government or society," Liu said. Chuang said the burden of caring for those needing long-term care falls on families more than 90 percent of the time, with the service provided by the government used in less than 10 percent of cases, and the groups feel the government needs to do more. The marchers will start from the Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office, walk past Taipei Railway Station and move toward their final destination -- the campaign headquarters of Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (???), who is favored to win the Jan. 16, 2016 presidential election. Chuang said the three presidential tickets have all made long-term care a priority issue, but they all lack substantive proposals on actually providing care, such as whether long-term care institutions should be run by business groups. Chuang, Liu and other migrant worker representatives also called for scrapping the private brokerage system in favor of direct nation-to-nation hiring, allowing migrant workers to change employers freely, and ending the ceiling on the number of years migrants can work in Taiwan. They also want to see the end of a rule requiring migrants to leave Taiwan for at least one day after the expiration of their standard three-year work contract. The groups feel the rule gives manpower firms another way to exploit foreign workers. The sponsors estimated that Sunday's rally will attract around 1,500 people, including laborers from the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand and representatives of Taiwan's labor unions and student and civil groups. (By Zoe Wei and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-25 00:17 GMT+08:00