Section 296 and 296-1 of Taiwan’s criminal code prohibit slavery and the use of coercion or deception to exploit a victim, but existing legal definitions and proof burdens hamper prosecutors’ ability to obtain convictions in cases involving fraudulent recruitment, coercion, or deception.
One convicted under Section 296 or 296-1 can face up to seven years in prison.
Taiwan is primarily a destination for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation.
It is also a source of women trafficked to Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The majority of victims are treated simply as illegal immigrants or illegal laborers, and housed in formal, long-term detention facilities, which are sometimes plagued by overcrowding and poor sanitation.
While incarcerated, most detainees have no access to psychological or legal counseling, and only limited access to medical services.
It is widely reported that authorities, particularly at the local level, fail to identify the vast majority of trafficking victims, classifying them instead as illegal immigrants or “runaway” foreign workers in illegal labor status.