38% of migrant caregivers in Taiwan abused by employers

38% of migrant caregivers in Taiwan verbally or physically abused by employers

(Pixabay photo)

(Pixabay photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Approximately 38 percent of migrant caregivers have been subjected to verbal or physical abuse while working in Taiwan, but only 46 percent have sought help, according to a survey by the Garden of Hope Foundation (勵馨基金會).

On Friday (Nov. 22), the foundation released the results of a survey titled "The 2019 Taiwan Household Migrant Laborer Fact-Finding Report." The survey was launched in March of this year and collected 510 valid questionnaires from 400 domestic caregivers, 400 of whom were from the Philippines, 104 from Indonesia, and six from Vietnam, reported CNA.

According to the survey, more than 60 percent of the respondents had worked in Taiwan for over three years. However, Kaili Lee (李凱莉), director of the foundation's migrant assistance center, pointed out that although the law clearly stipulates that employers cannot keep important documents such as national health insurance card, passport or residence permit, over 20 percent reported having such documents being held by their bosses.

When it came to their duties, 84 percent said that they were the sole person tasked with taking care of their client. When it came to rest, 35 percent said they not only did not have other caregivers to rotate shifts with, but in many cases, they were unable to receive eight hours of uninterrupted rest, according to the report.

In terms of abuse, 38 percent said they had been subjected to verbal abuse, physical injury, sexual harassment, or sexual assault by employers, reported CNA. Of those who had reported being a victim of one or more of these crimes, only 46 had asked for outside help.

Of those who did not report the incidents, Lee said 35 percent said they did not do so for fear of losing their jobs, 31 percent cannot speak Chinese, and 26 percent did not know where to go for help. Those who did seek help contacted the 1995 hot line, labor brokers, friends or relatives, NGO groups, and local department of labor.

Lee said, "not having a safe accommodation" and "not having a substitute" were the two most significant factors correlated to sexual abuse against caregivers, particularly the latter. Lee concluded that policies should be put in place to make arrangements for respite care services or other flexible care practices to improve the quality and stability of care.