Taiwan is an indispensable partner in the global fight against human trafficking, Vice President Chen Chien-jen said at the 11th International Workshop on Strategies for Combating Human Trafficking July 25 in Taipei City.

The workshop gathered local and foreign government officials as well as scholars and experts from nongovernmental organizations around the world to engage in information sharing on human trafficking issues, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

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During the event, the vice president noted that Taiwan was ranked as a Tier 1 nation in the Trafficking in Persons Report issued June 27 by the U.S. Department of State, the eighth consecutive year that the country has received the distinction. He said such a result underscores the effectiveness of government policies in combating human trafficking.

Tier 1 status is reserved for countries that comply with the requirements set forth under the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.

Taiwan is committed to the values of human rights and freedom, Chen said, highlighting government endeavors such as the Human Trafficking Prevention and Control Act promulgated in 2006 as well as the Coordination Conference for Human Trafficking Prevention, a platform for dialogue between government departments and commissions launched in 2007. He added that Taiwan has also signed agreements for international collaboration in immigration affairs and human trafficking prevention with 18 nations.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) is not a member of the U.N. and therefore not a party to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Chen stressed that the government will continue to uphold its responsibility to contribute to global anti-trafficking efforts as well as seek out opportunities for international cooperation.

Taiwan is a democratic nation that is determined to safeguard human rights, freedom and peace, he said.

Also speaking at the workshop, American Institute in Taiwan Acting Director Robert Forden lauded the nation’s anti-trafficking efforts. “Many countries in the region now look to [Taiwan] as an example of how to improve their own efforts,” he said.

Forden reaffirmed the U.S.’ pledge to continue working with the nation on enhancing cooperation in anti-trafficking initiatives. “The promotion and protection of human rights is a core commitment that Taiwan and the U.S. share,” he said.

This year’s workshop, held July 25-26, hosted discussions over a range of issues spanning international collaboration in labor exploitation prevention measures, investigation and trial of trafficking cases as well as strategies to protect the rights of domestic workers, according to the MOI. (KWS-E) [/restrict]