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Taiwan and U.S. sign anti-human trafficking MOU
By George Liu
Taiwan News, Staff Reporter
2014-05-30 11:17 AM
The National Immigration Agency and the U.S. Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center signed a “Memorandum of Understanding between the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the United States and the American Institute in Taiwan on the Dissemination and Exchange of Information relating to Human Smuggling and Trafficking” at 2 PM EST on May 29, 2014. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by Deputy Representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the United States (TECRO) Leo C. J. Lee and Managing Director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Joseph R. Donovan Jr. In the future, both parties will strengthen the exchange of information pertaining to human smuggling and trafficking and cooperate to combat related illegal activities.

Director-General of the National Immigration Agency Mo Tien-Hu remarked, the crime of human smuggling and trafficking has become a cross-border problem. It is difficult for any one country to effectively eliminate human smuggling and trafficking. Thus, nations must form partnerships with other nations (regions) to prevent human smuggling and trafficking through a united front.

According to the National Immigration Agency, future cooperation will primarily involve the timely sharing of information such as itineraries of suspected snake-heads using Taiwan as a waypoint to other destinations. Internationally, Taiwan’s exposure is primarily cross-strait human smuggling while, domestically, coerced labor involving mostly Southeast Asian workers is Taiwan’s largest human trafficking issue.

Taiwan aggressively promotes cooperation between states to combat transnational crime. In recent year, Taiwan has signed immigration and international human smuggling and trafficking prevention MOUs with Mongolia, Indonesia, Honduras, Vietnam, and Paraguay. In addition, government agencies have spared no effort in combating cross-strait human smuggling and trafficking. In addition, promoting the signing of an MOU with the U.S. has always been one of Taiwan’s important goals. Thursday’s signing is a major milestone in Taiwan’s international cooperation efforts to combat human smuggling and trafficking.

Currently, the U.S. has signed international human smuggling and trafficking prevention MOUs with Canada, the U.K., the Netherlands, France, and the EU. Taiwan is first in the Asia-Pacific region to sign this type of MOU with the U.S. and takes on an important role in the prevention of human smuggling and trafficking in the Asia.

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