Taiwan ranks among top countries combating human trafficking for 10th year in row

US State Department ranks Taiwan as Tier 1 for 'fully meeting standards for elimination of trafficking'

File photo: Immigration Officers arrest human trafficking suspects at Taoyuan Int;. Airport, Oct. 2018

File photo: Immigration Officers arrest human trafficking suspects at Taoyuan Int;. Airport, Oct. 2018 (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The United States Department of State released its annual report on human trafficking across the globe on Thursday (June 20).

According to the report, Taiwan, clearly identified as a country in the report, ranks among the Tier One countries of the world, which “fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.”

This is the 10th year in a row in which Taiwan has maintained its status as a country dedicated to preventing human trafficking through actionable policies and a strong commitment to prosecuting offenders.

Joining Taiwan in the Tier One classification are 32 other countries, including the United States as wel as neighbors Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines.

Regional neighbors Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore meet the criteria for Tier Two. Tier Two countries are identified as “not fully meeting the minimum standards" for the elimination of trafficking but "making significant efforts to do so."

Meanwhile, China is listed in the Tier Three category of nations that "do not fully meet the minimum standards" for the elimination of trafficking and "are not making significant efforts to do so.”

China has been rated as a Tier Three country since 2017 and is in the company of states like North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea.

The U.S. State Department reported that Taiwan's efforts at reducing and preventing human trafficking this year included:

-investigating more traffickers and labor recruitment agencies than in previous years
-conducting random inspections of fishing vessels on the high seas
-repatriating an increased number of foreign victims
-amending legislation to improve protections for migrant workers

However, the State Department does recognize that Taiwan still requires more oversight of its deep-water fishing fleets, which have developed a reputation for inhumane practices and abuse of migrant workers.

After the report was released, Taiwan’s Ministry of the Interior published a statement emphasizing that Taiwan continues to work diligently on preventing human trafficking domestically and across the region.

The Ministry emphasized that there were 120 victims of human trafficking reported in Taiwan in 2018. Likewise, 112 individuals were prosecuted last year for crimes of human trafficking. Both numbers represent a new low, suggesting that progress is being made, reports the Liberty Times.

The complete human trafficking report on Taiwan can be viewed on the State Department’s official website.