Control Yuan looks into issue of migrant worker births in Taiwan

Unregistered babies without nationality may be deprived of medical care, social assistance, and education

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(Pixabay photo)

(Pixabay photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Control Yuan, a government body that monitors the administration, is investigating unregistered infants that are born to migrant workers in Taiwan.

As increasing numbers of migrant workers come to Taiwan, the number of missing workers has also grown. Some of those missing workers are giving birth to unregistered babies.

These children may be abandoned by their parents and require government assistance. Furthermore, their conception may have been due to sexual assault by an employer.

While the fathers of unregistered infants are usually unknown, the mothers have either lost contact or been deported. Without birth registration the child has no nationality or rights and is therefore deprived of appropriate medical and social care, and education as the child grows up.

Two members of the Control Yuan, Wang Yu-ling (王幼玲) and Wang Mei-yu (王美玉), are overseeing an investigation into whether the government is adequately monitoring and providing services to unregistered infants in Taiwan, according to a press statement issued on Monday (July 23).

This statement expressed concern the National Immigration Agency (NIA) does not possess accurate figures on the number of migrant workers who have gone missing for fear of being deported, after becoming pregnant. They are also determining whether the NIA and Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) have established effective measures to deal with unregistered infants in Taiwan.

The NIA responded to the Control Yuan via a statement the same evening by saying it would cooperate with the investigation and provide information. It also confirmed that if the parents of unregistered infants cannot be found within six months, the children will be put up for adoption and naturalized according to the nationality of their adoptive parents, said the statement.

Migrant workers who need assistance to care for their children can go to the local branch of the Department of Social Welfare. If they wish to return to their own country with their children, they can seek help from the NIA, added the statement.

Control Yuan figures suggest the number of migrant workers in Taiwan surpassed 700,000 in May, with nearly 50,000 missing. The majority of migrant workers are women, more than 383,000, while 78 percent of the total migrant workers are aged between 25 and 44.