End Taiwan's human trafficking of ESL teachers

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As an American teaching ESL in Taiwan, I had become the foreigner. My boss refused to give me my work permit, even though it is required by law. When I told Taiwan's Immigration office, they hung up the phone on me and refused to help. I had many other problems in Taiwan, which I talk about in some videos, but it's too long to list here.

Because my boss did not respect my rights, my legal status was in jeopardy. Because my employer broke the law, my year of working didn't count toward earning permanent residence in Taiwan. My story is not the only one nor is it the worst.

Controlling a foreigner by taking legal papers enables human trafficking, whether ESL or prostitution, which is another big problem in Taiwan. By ending illegal practices for ESL, Taiwan can start to solve other problems as well.

"Do-nothing" government hurts ESL teachers in Taiwan. As a result, this hurts Taiwan's reputation and it hurts the Taiwanese ability to learn English, a requirement in Taiwanese schools. Taiwanese children are the biggest victims.

There are three simple things America's government can do to help. Every country should protect its own citizens. I write as an American specifically about Taiwan, but this is only a beginning. I hope many countries take similar action:

  1. When many American citizens report illegal employment abuse in Taiwan, the US government should send an inspection team to understand the problem and work with Taiwan's government to improve. This should be a requirement for any trade relationship. The next two points fit this situation...
  2. Taiwan's government should deliver work permits directly to foreign employees, not to their employers. It should be certified mail and signed in person.
  3. Taiwan's government needs to make some small repair for the damage that its inadequate laws have caused in the past—both to affected foreigners and to the Taiwanese children. Taiwan should grant residency to any foreigners who have a. not "overstayed", b. been in Taiwan at lest five years, and c. who might have otherwise qualified for residency were it not for Taiwan's inadequate labor laws. This would repair many broken friendships between Taiwan and its foreigners. This  would also give fair treatment to the Taiwanese by bringing more English speakers and allowing them to work in more sectors of Taiwan's economy, which Taiwan desperately needs.

Helping Taiwan do the right thing will help many people who have worked in Taiwan, but it will help the Taiwanese people even more. This is an easy, yet powerful, first step to many other good things.

Please make ESL safe and help Taiwanese children. Sign this petition and share with everyone you know.