Taiwan can do more for foreign laborers, says NTU researcher returning from Thailand

NTU student Chen Guan-ru spent summer in Thailand researching human rights and labor issues

Chen Guan-ru in Thailand (Image courtesy of MOE)

Chen Guan-ru in Thailand (Image courtesy of MOE)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- After spending 50 days this summer researching human rights and labor issues, National Taiwan University student Chen Guan-ru (陳冠儒), has returned to Taiwan to share his experiences.

Chen says that to promote the New Southbound Policy and form better relations with neighbors in South East Asia, business and government should do more to protect and care for foreign workers here in Taiwan.

Chen was a recipient of a grant offered by the Ministry of Education to visit Thailand to do research at Thailand's Human Rights and Development Council. As a student of NTU's Political Science Department studying foreign policy, Chen is doing research on labor laws and international economic migration in the region.

Thanks to the program and the Ministry of Education, Chen was able to visit various NGOs, and poor working communities in Thailand. By studying the legal situation in Thailand, students like Chen will have a more informed perspective to help shape future policy here in Taiwan.

Chen was also able to join a preparatory meeting for a Global Compact on Migration, hosted by the United Nations during his time in Thailand. He was able share ideas with representatives from various labor unions, NGOs and international rights groups, as well as study the process of drafting official resolution documents.

After all of his experiences in Thailand, Chen stressed that he thinks Taiwan needs to increase its participation in forums that can address problems affecting the region.

Although various political issues have kept Taiwan restrained in the past, Taiwan has the opportunity to take a leadership role and a people-oriented approach towards regional issues.

Chen said that Taiwan should start by offering better legal protections and support programs for foreign laborers working in Taiwan.