Ban rapists from hiring migrant workers: lawmaker

The mooted amendment to the Employment Service Act comes after the arrest of a local man for alleged rape of an Indonesian caregiver.

Under current regulations, employers convicted of abusing workers are permitted to hire new foreign caregivers after two years.

News that an Indonesian caregiver in Taichung had been raped and found with her wrists cut in an apparent suicide attempt sparked outrage earlier this month.

The event shed light on a string of similar sexual assault cases involving foreign workers in Taiwan.

A total of 122 foreign workers — over 90 of whom were registered as caregivers — reported they had been assaulted by employers, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW, 衛服部).

People First Party Legislator Chen Yi-chieh (陳怡潔), who proposed the amendment, described the rape case as “a disgrace for the Republic of China internationally.”

She added: “It is necessary to severely punish the abuser, as well as amend laws to allow for stricter screening processes to stop previously abusive employers from committing similar acts in the future.”

The lawmaker noted that with the impending introduction of a new long-term care system, demand for foreign caregivers would only increase.

“If the rights and benefits of foreign workers can’t be fully enforced, other countries could take action to prevent their nationals from working in Taiwan,” Chen said.

Outrage in Indonesia

Labor authorities in Indonesia expressed outrage Saturday after receiving news of the alleged rape.

After the 31-year-old woman’s recruitment agency ignored her complaints, the caregiver posted a five-minute video of the abuse on Youtube and on an Indonesian news site.

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