Over 100 migrant workers stage flash mob in Taipei Main Station

Migrant workers stage flash mob show in Taipei Main Station to call for better rights, protection of female migrant workers

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(By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Over 100 migrant workers staged a flash mob show in Taipei on Sunday (March 24) to call for an end to sexual violence against female workers and to call for better work conditions, reported CNA.

Inspired by the "One Billion Rising" movement started by American feminist Eve Ensler to end all forms of sexual violence against women, 135 Indonesian and Filipino workers staged a flash mob performance in the Taipei Main Station on Sunday. During the show, which went by the theme "Rising for a Better System," workers called for an end to gender-based violence and to end the exploitation of workers.

In the video of the flash mob performance, a woman representing migrant workers can be seen suffering a simulated beating and rape. A person then comes to her aid, and a large number of mainly female migrant workers begin to dance in unison to demonstrate their defiance against such sexual violence in the workplace.


(CNA photo)

Gilda Banugan , chairperson of the Taiwan Chapter of Migrante International (Migrante Taiwan), told CNA that even though the "One Billion Rising Taiwan" campaign has been running for seven years, Taiwan's regulations governing and the environment for female migrant workers had not improved significantly over that time. Banugan said that female migrant workers, in particular, have had extra work every day and incidents of verbal, physical, and sexual assault have continued to emerge endlessly.

According to government statistics, at the beginning of this year, of the 700,000 migrant workers in Taiwan, 380,000 are women, 90 percent of whom work as domestic caregivers. Banugan lists her group's six major demands as: include domestic caregivers under the Labor Standards Act (勞基法), provide them labor insurance to domestic caregivers, include them in the national long-term care system, allow them paid leave, end illegal charges by brokers, and require employers to pay overtime if workers are not given a full 24 hours on holidays.

In response to Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu's (韓國瑜) recent controversial remarks in which he referred to Filipina workers as "Marias," Banugan said it was very painful for all migrants, who continue to spend their youth and time working in Taiwan to take care of the elderly, patients, and family members of Taiwanese people. She said she hopes that Taiwanese people can give migrant workers more respect.


(CNA photo)

The following are the official demands listed by Migrante Taiwan:

1. We are workers and deserve to be recognized and treated as workers. Include us in the Labor Standard Act.
2. We want to have labor insurance.
3. Put the migrant Domestic workers on the long term caring system.
4. Let the migrant workers enjoy the vacation leave.
5. Forbid any illegal charges from the broker.
6. If the day-off is not full (24hrs), employers should pay at least part of the overtime payment


(Photo from Migrante Taiwan)


(Photo from Migrante Taiwan)


(Photo from Migrante Taiwan)


(CNA photo)


(CNA photo)


(CNA photo)

Video of the flash mob performance: