MOL rebuts NT$2 billion subsidies for abandoned children of foreign workers

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The Ministry of Labor rebutted media reports that the government will spend NT$2 billion per year caring for children of foreign workers.

Labor Minister Lin Mei-chu said that MOL has approved a proposal to subsidize institutions or foster homes that agree to look after non-native children left abandoned by their mothers after birth.

According to government data, the number of children born to foreigners -- including white-collar workers, students and migrant workers -- in Taiwan reached over 7,000 in the period from 2007 to March 2017.

As of Jan. 31, a total of 121 non-native children were settled in social welfare institutions, including 45 whose mothers were unable to be located or who had left Taiwan, the data indicates. 

The planned subsidies, which are set to begin on June 1, will be NT$17,500 per month for each child settled, the MOL said, estimating that 45 children will qualify for the settlement this year, for a total cost of NT$5.5 million.

Lin explained that the new measure was brought up at the request of the Presidential Office's Human Rights Consultant Committee and the Executive Yuan to give humanitarian assistance to non-native children whose mothers abandon them or are unwilling to take them back to their home countries.