Safety Tips for Foreign Workers in Taiwan
In order to keep yourself safe while you work in Taiwan, we recommend that you follow the guidance listed below. If you ever have questions about your rights as a foreign worker, or if you find yourself at a loss as to how you should proceed under the law, please contact the Hope Workers’ Center.
You should keep your passport and residency documents in your possession.
You employer and broker do not have the right to demand that you surrender the following documents to his possession: your passport, your Alien Residency Card, your cell phone, your money, your other personal identification papers. If you have previously surrendered these documents to them, we recommend that you seek their return. If either you broker or your employer prove unwilling to give these documents back to you, then you rights may have been violated.
You should always keep your Alien Residency Card (ARC) with you at all times.
Government authorities sometimes stop people in public settings, such as on trains or near bus stations, to check for legal residency. If you do not have proof of legal residency—such as a passport, an Alien Residency Card, or some other proof of legal residency—then you may be detained. It is advisable that you always have at least one form of legal identification and proof of residency on your person at all times.
Never Sign a Document You Do Not Understand in Full
When your employer or broker presents you with a document to sign, you should never sign it unless your fully understand its contents. You should first request a translation of the document into your mother tongue; you have a legal right to read any legal document you presented in your native language and your employer or broker has a legal obligation to provide such translation upon your request. Additionally, if you still do not fully understand the document in full upon having read it in your mother tongue, you should request assistance. Do not trust the explanation provided by your broker or employer. You should never feel obliged to sign a document immediately; you always have the option to take the document with you and return to sign at a later time. If you bring a document to the Hope Workers’ Center, or if you call us over phone, we would be happy to help you to fully understand its contents. Once you sign a document, you will become legally responsibility for the document’s implications.
You Should Report Cases of Sexual Harassment or Assault
Cases of sexual harassment and assault are unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. If you, or somebody you know, has been sexually harassed or assaulted, you should report the behavior immediately and seek to be removed from the harmful situation. To report the behavior to the government, you may call 1-9-5-5 and tell the operator what happened. It is advisable that you collect evidence (i.e. an audio recording of the harassment or written documentation), though if you are in a situation that makes you feel unsafe, you should come to the Hope Workers’ Center immediately. Sexual harassment and assault are unacceptable!
If you run away from your employer, contact the Hope Workers’ Center immediately.
If you decide to run away from your employer, the employer will contact the government to inform them that you are a runaway foreign worker. As a runaway foreign worker, you no longer have a right to reside in Taiwan and you may be subject to detention and repatriation to your country of origin. As an undocumented runaway, you may also be vulnerable to exploitation, human trafficking, or other abuses. It is advisable that you contact the Hope Workers’ Center immediately upon realizing that you are undocumented, and we will advise you on how best to proceed.
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