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TITLE:  TAIWAN HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1994
AUTHOR:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DATE:  FEBRUARY 1995









                             TAIWAN


Taiwan has a constitutional system headed by President Lee 
Teng-hui, who was elected by the National Assembly (NA) in 
1990.  President Lee, who is also the Chairman of the 
Nationalist Party (KMT), appoints the Executive Yuan (EY), or 
Cabinet, which has been headed since February 1993 by Premier 
Lien Chan.  The Legislative Yuan (LY) approves the selection of 
the Premier.  Members of the NA and LY were chosen in free and 
fair elections in 1991 and 1992, respectively.  The KMT remains 
the country's dominant political force, but two opposition 
parties also command considerable public support.

During 1994 Taiwan made significant progress in its transition 
to a democratic, multiparty political system--a process which 
began with the lifting of martial law in 1987--by holding 
generally free and fair popular elections for three previously 
appointed positions, the governor of Taiwan province and the 
mayors of the cities of Taipei and Kaohsiung, and by passing 
constitutional amendments that provide for the direct election 
of both the President and Vice President.  The first direct 
presidential election is scheduled for 1996.

The Ministries of Interior (MOI), Justice (MOJ), and National 
Defense (MND) are responsible for law enforcement relating to 
internal security.  The National Police Administration (NPA) of 
the Ministry of Interior, the NPA's Criminal Investigation 
Bureau (CIB), and the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau 
(MJIB) carry out their law enforcement functions in accordance 
with laws designed to respect and safeguard individual human 
rights.  Reports of occasional abuses by these agencies, 
however, continue to exist.  The National Security Bureau and 
military police units also play a limited law enforcement role.

Taiwan has a dynamic, free market economy, although state and 
party-run enterprises dominate some major sectors, including 
finance, transportation, utilities, shipbuilding, steel, 
telecommunications, and petrochemicals.  The economy continued 
its shift toward the service sector and capital and 
technology-intensive industries, due to shortages of unskilled 
labor and high domestic labor and land costs.

Although the overall human rights environment improved, there 
continued to be human rights abuses.  These included a few 
alleged cases of extrajudicial killings and torture by the 
security forces, infringements on internationally accepted 
standards of due process, restrictions on the freedoms of press 
and assembly, child prostitution and abuse, discrimination and 
violence against women, restrictions on workers' freedom of 
association, and limitations on workers' freedom to strike.

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Section 1  Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
           Freedom from:

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

There were no reports of political killings.  In October the 
family of a Tainan prisoner who died in August accused the 
prison staff of beating the prisoner to death and charged that 
the authorities were conspiring to cover up the circumstances.  
This case was still under investigation at year's end.  In 
September the family of a soldier in Kaohsiung claimed that 
excessive exercise he was ordered to undertake as a form of 
punishment caused his death.  A legislator raised this incident 
in an emergency interpellation to the Ministry of National 
Defense, but it remained unresolved at year's end.

Several cases of extrajudicial killing from 1993 were 
resolved.  In January a military court sentenced a lieutenant 
and four sergeants to prison terms ranging from 18 months to 12 
years for torturing to death Chen Shih-Wei in July 1993 at a 
military reformatory on Green Island.  In March the Taichung 
district court sentenced the deputy chief of Taichung city's 
third police precinct to 10 years in prison for the torture 
death of a rape suspect in August 1993; four other policemen 
were acquitted for lack of evidence.

In October the Taipei Shihlin district court ruled that the 
death of Wang Kang-Lu, Secretary General of the World United 
Formosans for Independence, in an October 1993 Taipei car crash 
was an accident rather than a "political assassination" as 
charged by his family and supporters.  The driver of the 
vehicle which struck the taxi in which Mr. Wang was riding and 
the taxi driver were both sentenced to prison, for 20 months 
and 8 months respectively, for negligence resulting in death.  
Also in October, the Taipei district court sentenced four 
wardens at the Taipei detention center to from 14 to 30 months 
in prison for torturing a homicide suspect in September 1993.  
Although the suspect later died, the judge ruled that the death 
resulted from a preexisting physical condition rather than from 
torture.

     b.  Disappearance

There were no reports of disappearances.

     c.  Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
         Treatment or Punishment

There were credible reports that police occasionally physically 
abused persons in their custody.  In addition to claims that a 
prisoner was beaten to death in Tainan (see Section l.a.), a 
deaf-mute university student indicated at a press conference in 
August that Taoyuan county police tortured him because he was a 
suspect in the murder of a female college student.

The authorities did make efforts to investigate, prosecute, and 
punish officials responsible for torture and other 
mistreatment.  Although the basic responsibility for 
investigating mistreatment lies with prosecutors, the Control 
Yuan (CY), an equal government branch which investigates 
official misconduct, investigated several such cases during the 
year.  In one major case in August, the CY criticized the 
Taipei city police for arresting under "emergency procedures" 
three young men suspected of involvement in a 1988 kidnaping 
and murder case, holding them for arraignment for 24 hours 
without notifying their relatives and using violence and 
threats among other interrogation tactics.  The CY impeached 
four Taipei city policemen for using "violence, threats, 
temptation, and cheating" while interrogating one of the 
suspects and three superior officers for allowing the 
misconduct.  The case was referred to the Judicial Yuan (JY), 
the equal branch of government comprising the national judicial 
system, for decision and remained under review at year's end.

While the 1993 torture death of a suspect in Taichung resulted 
in the conviction of the offending policeman (see Section 
l.a.), two other cases of police torture of suspects in 1993 
remained under investigation without indictments being issued.  
However, progress was made in dealing with an earlier case.  
The Taichung district prosecutor indicted the former criminal 
investigation team leader from Taichung county's Fengyuan 
police subbureau for torturing four suspects in a 1990 murder 
case; the suspects were later found not guilty.  In April the 
Judicial Yuan's Committee on the Discipline of Public 
Functionaries ordered the former chief of the subbureau 
suspended from duty for 1 year and the former chief of the 
subbureau's criminal investigation section discharged from 
public service without possibility of being rehired for 2 years 
for their failure to prevent the torture.

The law allows suspects to have attorneys present during 
interrogations, primarily to ensure that abuse does not take 
place.  The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) claims that each 
interrogation is recorded and that all allegations of 
mistreatment are investigated.  Lawyers and legal scholars note 
that abuses most often occur in local police stations where 
interrogations are not recorded and when attorneys are 
generally not present.  Detainees who are physically abused 
have the right to sue the police for torture, and confessions 
obtained through torture are inadmissible in court 
proceedings.  No such suits were reported during 1994.

Although corporal punishment is forbidden under military law, 
there continued to be occasional reports of physical abuse of 
military personnel.  In addition to the case involving possible 
excessive punishment resulting in a soldier's death in 
Kaohsiung (see Section l.a.), newspapers reported the cases of 
an air force member in Taichung beaten by superiors for going 
outside the unit's chain of command and a Taoyuan air force 
conscript who suffered maltreatment and harassment during 
training which resulted in his mental breakdown.  Although the 
Ministry of National Defense denied the accuracy of both 
stories, it noted that a number of management steps had been 
taken to reduce the problem of abuse in the military, including 
setting up centers within all military units to hear complaints 
about mistreatment.

Some international human rights organizations have criticized 
the continuous shackling for months of prisoners awaiting 
executions and the "harvesting" of organs from executed 
prisoners for transplants.  MOJ officials claim that shackles 
are necessary because such prisoners are considered to be 
dangerous and the prisons are not sufficiently secure.  The MOJ 
states that the requirement for both a prisoner and his family 
to consent to organ donations reduces the likelihood of 
donations being forced.

Prison overcrowding at Taiwan's 43 detention centers remained a 
problem despite some expansion of existing facilities and 
amendment of the Criminal Code in January to allow prisoners to 
be paroled after serving one-third, rather than one-half, of 
their sentences.  The more than 50,000 inmates in detention 
exceed the facilities' maximum capacity by 15,000.  The Justice 
Minister blamed overcrowding for an October riot at Hualien 
prison which left 20 injured; the prison, reportedly designed 
for 1,151 inmates, houses 2,000.  According to the MOJ, the 
number of prisoners has grown rapidly in recent years because 
of increased arrests of narcotics law violators who now make up 
30 percent of the overall inmate population.  The MOJ is 
setting up drug treatment facilities to reduce the number of 
addicts in the prison population.

Conditions at detention camps for illegal immigrants continued 
to be poor.  The Entry and Exit Bureau admitted that the three 
detention camps are overcrowded but blamed mainland Chinese 
authorities for delays in accepting the timely repatriation of 
illegal immigrants.  Mainland detainees spent an average of 113 
days in detention.  An expansion project for the centers is 
under way.

In July a group of 12 black inmates, almost all from African 
countries, at the San Hsia illegal aliens detention center 
claimed that 6 policemen had beaten and tortured a black inmate 
the previous month.  They also charged the camp's police with 
racial discrimination and ill-treatment of the black inmates.  
The National Police Administration (NPA) claims there is no 
discrimination against any detainee because of religion, race, 
color, or language.

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

Police may legally arrest without a warrant anyone they suspect 
of committing a crime for which the punishment would be 
imprisonment of 5 years or more and may question persons 
without a formal summons.  The authorities must, within 24 
hours after detention, give written notice to the detainee, or 
a designated relative or friend, stating the reason for the 
arrest or questioning.  Indicted persons may be released on 
bail at judicial discretion.

The Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) specifies that the 
authorities may detain a suspect for up to 2 months during the 
investigative phase before filing a formal indictment.  The 
prosecutor's office may extend the investigative detention for 
one additional 2-month period.  A suspect may be held for up to 
3 months during trial proceedings, and the court may extend the 
trial detention for two additional 3-month periods.  The 
authorities generally have followed these procedures, and 
trials usually take place within 3 months of indictment.

The authorities generally respect a detainee's request to have 
a lawyer present during the investigation phase, but defense 
lawyers continue to complain that people often are not advised 
of their right to have legal representation during police 
interrogation.  In addition, there is no legal requirement that 
indigent people be provided with counsel during police 
interrogation, although such counsel is provided during trials.

A continuing departure from international standards of due 
process is the secret witness system under the "Antihoodlum" 
Law.  This system allows police to conduct "sweeps" of 
suspected "hoodlums" and use the testimony of unidentified 
informants in detaining the suspects.  Lawyers for the alleged 
hoodlums are not permitted to cross-examine these informants.  
While defense attorneys have been given the right to examine 
documentary evidence, critics charge that evidence in these 
cases is often weak or fabricated.  Although the testimony of 
the secret witnesses is included under the criminal statutes 
for perjury, critics claim that the detainees often lack the 
means to prove perjury.

The Judicial Yuan (JY) claims that the secret witness system is 
required to wipe out hoodlums and maintain social order and 
security.  The system is not used in normal criminal 
procedures; "antihoodlum" punishments are "administrative 
procedures."  Based on evidence provided by the police, a 
specialized court determines whether or not an accused hoodlum 
should receive reformatory education.  This decision may be 
appealed by the accused to a higher court.  Courts may not 
determine the length of reformatory education; reformatory 
authorities make this decision based on the behavior of the 
detainee.  The usual term is 3 to 6 months for a first offense, 
and detention of repeat offenders may be extended for up to 3 
years.

Critics say that these specialized courts simply rubber-stamp 
police decisions, and while virtually all detainees appeal 
their sentences, most remain unchanged.  According to JY 
statistics, of the 1,763 hoodlum cases referred to the special 
courts in 1993, 73 percent (1,287) were determined to warrant 
reformatory education.

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

The Judicial Yuan (JY) is one of the five equal branches of 
Taiwan's political system.  It consists of a President, a Vice 
President, and a 16-member Council of Grand Justices.  It 
interprets the Constitution as well as laws and ordinances.  
Subordinate JY organs include the Supreme Court, high courts, 
district courts, the Administrative Court, and the Committee on 
the Discipline of Public Functionaries.  The Constitution 
provides for equality before the law.  Judges, rather than 
juries, decide trials.

All judges are appointed by, and responsible to, the JY.  
Although some in the past have characterized the judiciary as 
not fully independent and as susceptible to political and 
personal pressure, most observers believe the judiciary now is 
generally independent and impartial.  The only public criticism 
in 1994 came from illegal radio station owner Hsu Jung-Chi who 
claimed his convictions for inciting illegal demonstrations 
were a form of political persecution (see Sections 2.a. and 
2.b.).  To strengthen judicial autonomy, under its new 
president, Shih Chi-yang, the JY began a 1-year trial reform 
program in November which includes having each district's 
presiding judge elected by the district judges rather than 
appointed from above.

The law provides for the right of fair public trial, and this 
is generally respected in practice.  Taiwan's legal system does 
not provide for trial by jury.  In a typical court case, 
parties and witnesses are interrogated by a single judge but 
not directly by a defense attorney or prosecutor.  The judge 
may decline to hear witnesses or to consider evidence a party 
wishes to submit if the judge considers it irrelevant; refusal 
to hear evidence can be a factor in an appeal.  Trials are 
public, but attendance at trials involving juveniles or 
potentially sensitive issues which might attract crowds may 
require court permission.

A defendant has the right to an attorney.  If the defendant is 
suspected of committing a crime for which the penalty is 3 or 
more years' imprisonment, or if the defendant is disabled or 
elderly, the judge may assign an attorney.  Criminal law 
specifically provides the defendant with protection from 
self-incrimination.  Persons convicted in cases in which the 
sentence exceeds 3 years have the right to appeal to the high 
court and to the Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court 
automatically reviews life imprisonment and death sentences.

     f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
         Correspondence

The Constitution and sections of the criminal and civil codes 
contain provisions for privacy.  The authorities generally do 
not make warrantless searches, which were common before the 
lifting of martial law.  A warrant, issued by a prosecutor or a 
judge, must be obtained before a search, except when incidental 
to arrest.  Critics, however, claim that the "incidental to 
arrest" provision is not only unconstitutional but often 
interpreted broadly by police to justify searches of locations 
other than actual sites of arrests.  Moreover, police continue 
to search cars routinely at roadblocks.

According to the National Police Administration, warrantless 
searches are allowed only in specialized circumstances, such as 
to arrest an escapee or if facts indicate a person is in the 
process of committing a crime and the circumstances are 
urgent.  In any such case, the police must file a report with 
the prosecutor or court within 24 hours.  Evidence collected 
without a warrant, according to regulations, is not excluded 
from introduction during a trial; however, a policeman who 
carries out an illegal search can be sued for illegal entry and 
sentenced up to 1 year's imprisonment.

Although in the past allegations were made that police and 
security agencies interfere with the right to privacy through 
such means as surveillance and interception of correspondence 
and telephone calls, there were no reports of such interference 
for political purposes in 1994.  According to EY regulations, 
judicial and security authorities may file a written request to 
a prosecutor's office to monitor telephone calls to collect 
evidence against a suspect involved in a major crime.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

The Constitution provides for freedom of speech, teaching, 
writing, and publication, but some restrictions exist in 
practice, especially in relation to Taiwan's electronic media.  
During the year, the authorities continued the measured steps, 
begun in 1993, to liberalize the previously tight control by 
the authorities and the KMT over broadcast television and radio.

In August the Office of the High Court Prosecutor formally 
dropped sedition charges against Shih Ming, the last of the 
major dissident leaders, who had returned to Taiwan illegally 
in 1993 after more than 40 years' exile in Japan.  The 
prosecutor determined that Mr. Shih had not tried to overthrow 
the Taiwan authorities with threats or violent acts (see also 
Section 2.d).  The dropping of sedition charges against Mr. 
Shih officially confirmed the end of Taiwan's four-decade-long 
"wanted list" of sedition suspects.

In 1992 the Taiwan authorities revised sedition statutes to 
eliminate provisions outlawing "conspiracy" to commit sedition 
and to limit the purview of the Sedition Law to cases involving 
violence or threats.  After the revision, the authorities 
released all prisoners convicted on sedition charges and 
dropped pending sedition cases.

Also in 1992, the Taiwan authorities revised the National 
Security Law (NSL), removing prohibitions on "actions against 
the Constitution."  However, the NSL--and related statutes such 
as the Civic Organizations Law and the Parade and Assembly 
Law--still retain prohibitions against advocating communism or 
espousing the division of national territory.

Taiwan has a vigorous and active free press despite the 
Publications Law which empowers the police to seize or ban 
printed material that is seditious, treasonous, sacrilegious, 
interferes with the lawful exercise of public functions, or 
violates public order or morals.  There were no reports of 
censorship of the print media during the year.  Nor were there 
seizures of materials on political grounds, although the police 
conducted raids to seize pornographic materials.

In February the Government Information Office (GIO) reiterated 
that any publications imported from mainland China should be 
sent to the GIO Publications Department for screening before 
sale or publication in Taiwan.  The GIO bans the importation of 
publications which advocate communism or United Front 
organizations, endanger public order or good morals, or violate 
regulations or laws.  However, few local publishing companies 
observe this regulation.  The Department estimated that 10,000 
copies of mainland publications are imported annually.

In a well-publicized libel case, four professors found guilty 
in 1993 for leading a boycott against a newspaper they alleged 
slanted its reporting in favor of mainland China and against 
Taiwan were successful in their appeal.  In August the high 
court reversed the lower court verdict and affirmed the 
defendants right to criticize the media.  The high court, 
however, rejected a libel suit filed by one of the defendants 
against the newspaper involved.

The KMT, the Taiwan provincial government, and the military 
continue to operate the three island-wide broadcast television 
stations and to be their largest shareholders.  The GIO claims 
that these stations are really civilian businesses since the 
authorities control less than half of their stock shares.  The 
GIO notes that their programming is guided by the market rather 
than the GIO or the KMT and that they rely on revenues from 
commercials and services rather than public funds.  Critics, 
notably the two principal opposition parties, claim that 
coverage on the three broadcast television stations has been 
slanted to favor the KMT viewpoint and that reports on 
sensitive subjects, such as opposition demonstrations, have 
been similarly biased.  A breakthrough occurred in October when 
a leading newspaper and one of the television channels 
sponsored a live debate among the three Taipei mayoralty 
candidates--Taiwan's first televised debate among election 
candidates.

More than three-fourths of Taiwan's radio frequencies have been 
held by the authorities, the KMT, and other noncommercial 
entities.  In the past, the Taiwan authorities claimed only 12 
of the 33 radio stations legally operating were owned by 
military and civil agencies, but they counted among ostensibly 
"private" stations such entities as the KMT-controlled 
Broadcasting Corporation of China.

Past refusals by the authorities to approve requests to 
establish new radio and television stations led to the 
establishment of a number of illegal underground cable 
television and radio stations.  Many of these stations 
broadcast in the Taiwanese dialect rather than in Mandarin and 
reflect the views of or support for the opposition Democratic 
Progressive Party (DPP).

In 1993 the authorities began a multiyear process to loosen 
controls on television.  The LY passed a Cable Television Law 
dividing the island into 51 districts, each of which is allowed 
up to five local cable television companies.  By the end of 
1993, more than 600 previously illegal cable television 
operations had registered with the GIO to legalize their 
operations under interim cable television regulations, which 
apply until the Cable Television Law takes full effect.  The 
authorities are also setting up a new public television network 
to begin operation in 1995.  In addition, two more broadcast 
television frequencies are being made available.

Also in 1993, the GIO began a five-stage process to open radio 
frequencies.  In the first two stages, the GIO approved 
licenses for 24 20-kilometer-range FM stations; included were 6 
pro-DPP stations, 3 of which were already operating illegally.

Critics charge that the limited broadcast ranges of the new 
television and radio stations do not constitute a counterweight 
to the authorities' monopoly on island-wide broadcasting.  Some 
critics have also been concerned that the KMT, with its vast 
economic resources, or large corporations will try to control 
these new "investment arenas."

The authorities' control of the media continued to be a 
volatile issue.  On July 30, GIO staff members and 6,719 
policemen raided 14 underground pro-DPP radio stations across 
the island for operating illegally; included was the 
antiestablishment "Voice of Taiwan" (VOT) in suburban Taipei.  
The underground radio supporters and the DPP claimed that the 
raids infringed on freedom of the press and the people's right 
to know, and were designed to muzzle the opposition on the eve 
of sensitive negotiations between Taiwan and mainland China as 
well as stifle debate prior to the December elections.

In an August 1 demonstration in Taipei protesting the raids, 
hundreds of demonstrators attacked the GIO headquarters and 
other public and KMT buildings.  More than 30 demonstrators and 
police were injured.  Reporters and cameramen were targeted for 
attack by the demonstrators who feared being identified from 
news films.  Twelve demonstrators were indicted for violations 
of the Parade and Assembly Law (see also Section 2.b.), 
interfering with public functions, and causing bodily harm; 
four were sentenced to from 3 to 5 months in prison (a sentence 
which may be converted to a fine).  Charges against the others 
were dropped for lack of evidence.  In a separate incident a 
few days later, a GIO staff member involved in the July 30 
raids was stabbed and severely injured on his way to work.  
Four suspects were indicted in December upon completion of the 
investigation into the incident and face trial.  The violence 
continued into October when six to eight persons broke into the 
VOT studios and used baseball bats to smash broadcasting 
equipment and beat staff members.  The VOT claimed the attack 
was carried out by plainclothes policemen, a charge which was 
never substantiated.

(###)
In response, GIO Director General Jason Hu tried to encourage 
underground stations to become legal by announcing in August 
that the GIO would lower the minimum capitalization costs 
required for 99 new 5-kilometer-range community radio stations 
from approximately $2 million to $40,000 and accelerate the 
pace of the licensing process for these stations.  In December 
the GIO approved 46 of 174 applications for the community radio 
stations, including 10 from already operating illegal stations.

Among other restrictions regulating the media are those 
precluding people previously convicted of sedition from owning, 
managing, or working in television and radio stations.  
However, major opposition leaders, many of whom were convicted 
of sedition after the December 1979 Kaohsiung incident, are not 
affected because their rights were restored through 
presidential amnesties.

The authorities lifted controls on the percentage of time 
television and radio stations could broadcast in dialects in 
1993.  Although the Taiwanese dialect is the mother tongue of 
most of the island's inhabitants, the authorities had 
previously required that 80 percent of broadcasting be in 
Mandarin.  Broadcasting is now done in Mandarin, Taiwanese, 
Hakka (television and radio), and aboriginal dialects (radio 
only).

There appear to be few restrictions on academic freedom.  The 
expression of dissenting political views is common.  However, 
school authorities still sometimes pressure schoolteachers to 
discourage students from joining demonstrations.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The Constitution provides for freedom of assembly and 
association, but the Taiwan authorities restrict these rights 
somewhat in practice.  The Civic Organization Law requires all 
civic organizations to register; however, the authorities have 
refused to approve registration of some groups--such as the 
Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR), the Taiwan 
Association of University Professors, and the Taiwan 
Environmental Protection Alliance--which use the word "Taiwan" 
in their titles (a usage which is regarded by the authorities 
as promoting Taiwan independence).  These groups, however, 
continue to operate.

The Parade and Assembly (P&A) Law permits peaceful 
demonstrations as long as they do not promote communism or 
advocate Taiwan's separation from mainland China and are 
approved in advance by the authorities.  The 1992 amendments to 
the law increased penalties for violating orders to disperse.  
Demonstration organizers can be prosecuted and fined for harm 
to public order, interference with public functionaries 
(usually the police), assembly without a permit, or diverging 
from officially authorized routes.  Demonstrators are also 
liable for "insults or slander" of the authorities.

Critics question the need for all assemblies to apply for 
advance permits; in August, groups demonstrating peacefully at 
the LY were dispersed under P&A law provisions because they 
lacked permits.  In general, the authorities disperse such 
gatherings rather than prosecute peaceful P&A Law violators.  
Those prosecuted under the P&A Law in 1994 included the group 
indicted for participating in the violent August 1 
demonstration in Taipei (see Section 2.a.) and another 22 
people indicted for participating in the brawling which 
prevented the Chinese New Party from holding a September 25 
rally in Kaohsiung (see Section 3).  In addition, VOT radio 
owner Hsu Jung-Chi was sentenced in October twice for violating 
the P&A law.  He received 8 months' imprisonment for inciting a 
February demonstration by taxi drivers in front of the Ministry 
of Finance to protest the high cost of mandatory insurance and 
was sentenced to a further 5 months for inciting another 
demonstration in April to protest the razing of the KMT 
headquarters building.  Hsu remains free on bail while 
appealing these sentences.  Charges against Hsu are also 
pending for organizing the August 1 demonstration in Taipei.

A 1992 revision of the Civic Organization Law removed from the 
EY the power to dissolve political parties.  This power now 
resides in the Constitutional Court, composed of members of the 
Judiciary's Council of Grand Justices.  Grounds for dissolution 
include objectives or actions which are deemed to jeopardize 
the existence of the "Republic of China."  The Constitutional 
Court heard no cases in 1994.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the 
Taiwan authorities respect this right in practice.  There is no 
established or favored religion.


     d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
         Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

The authorities do not restrict freedom of internal travel 
except for a few military and other restricted areas.  Foreign 
travel by Taiwan passport holders resident on the island 
requires an exit permit.  Nonresident Taiwan passport holders 
are usually issued "overseas Chinese" passports and require 
entry permits to travel to Taiwan.  According to 1992 revisions 
to the National Security Law (NSL), entry permits may be 
refused only if there are facts sufficient to create a strong 
suspicion that a person is engaged in terrorism or violence.  
Reasons for entry and exit refusals must be given, and appeals 
may be made to a special board.  No exit or entry permit 
refusals were reported during 1994.

In 1993 new measures guaranteed that holders of Taiwan 
passports who normally reside abroad may return and regain 
their household registration, a document required for 
participation as a candidate in an election.

In late 1993, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) announced that the 
"blacklist problem," the listing of overseas dissidents 
excluded from returning to Taiwan, no longer existed.  However, 
a few foreign supporters of the Taiwan opposition claim that 
their entrance remains restricted.

Although dissident leader Ming Shih (see Section 2.a.) returned 
to Japan, the Taipei district prosecutor's office indicted him 
in October on charges of violating the NSL and forgery because 
he had entered Taiwan with an altered passport.  Charges 
involving illegal entry as well as document forgery were also 
still pending at the district court against independence 
activist George Chang.

While the 1992 NSL amendments eased restrictions on the entry 
into Taiwan of persons from Taiwan who reside overseas, 
relatively tight restrictions on the entry of Chinese from the 
mainland remain in force.  The Entry and Exit Bureau states the 
restrictions are required to maintain Taiwan's stability and 
prosperity (since Taiwan is an attractive destination for 
illegal immigration by mainland Chinese who can blend 
relatively easily into Taiwan society).  Some 60,000 mainland 
Chinese visited Taiwan from November 1988 through the end of 
1993; in the same period, 5.5 million trips were made by Taiwan 
residents to the mainland.


Taiwan has no law under which noncitizens can ask for asylum.  
However, the authorities have been reluctant to return to the 
mainland those who might suffer political persecution there.  
In 1994 the authorities resettled abroad five 
detainees--including student activist Xu Lifang, who had 
entered Taiwan in 1991 on a counterfeit Salvadoran passport, as 
well as four others who had claimed in 1993 that they had left 
the mainland for political reasons.  In general, however, 
Taiwan does deport to the mainland, under provisions of the 
Mainland Relations Act, those mainlanders who illegally enter 
the island.

Section 3  Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens 
           to Change Their Government

In 1994 Taiwan made significant progress in its transition to a 
democratic, multiparty political system.  An extraordinary 
session of the National Assembly (NA) passed constitutional 
amendments which require direct popular election of the 
President and the Vice President beginning in 1996.  (The NA, 
which meets regularly only every 4 years, has authority over 
constitutional revisions.)  Currently these two officials are 
elected by the NA.  Other amendments established procedures to 
impeach or recall the President and Vice President and to allow 
overseas Chinese who return to Taiwan to vote in presidential 
elections.  In early July, the Legislative Yuan (LY) passed 
legislation which allowed the direct popular election of the 
Governor of Taiwan province and the mayors of the two large 
cities of Taipei and Kaohsiung, all of whom had previously been 
appointed by the KMT.  Other democratic advances were Taipei 
county's first use of a plebiscite to elicit voter opinion and 
its first recall campaign, both of which arose out of a 
campaign by the Environmental Protection Alliance against a 
proposal to build a fourth nuclear power plant in the county.  
Elections for the NA in 1991 and the LY in 1992 allowed voters 
to choose directly the full membership of these central 
legislative institutions for the first time since the 1940's.

The December gubernatorial and mayoral elections were generally 
free and fair and were vigorously contested.  Over 75 percent 
of eligible voters participated.  However, allegations of 
vote-buying and some campaign violence marred the elections.

The KMT won the first election ever held for governor of Taiwan 
province as well as the first election since 1979 for mayor of 
Kaohsiung, Taiwan's second largest city.  The DPP won the first 
election since 1964 for mayor of Taipei, a race in which the 
Chinese New Party (CNP), a breakaway KMT faction, came in 
second.

While there are now over 70 (mostly very small) political 
parties functioning in Taiwan, only 3 of them hold real power: 
the Nationalist Party (KMT), the DPP, and the CNP.  The KMT, 
although much reduced in size from the days when it was the 
only significant party, is still, with 2 million members, by 
far the largest.  It also benefits from its domination of the 
broadcast media, from ownership of enterprises and business 
holdings estimated to be worth in excess of $6 billion, and 
from the fact that its members still hold most key positions in 
the authorities, sometimes concurrently with important party 
positions.

The DPP, established in 1986 even before additional political 
parties were legalized, remains the main opposition party; it 
has one-third of the members in the LY (50 of 153 at year's 
end), holds 7 (of 23) mayor and magistrate posts--including the 
mayor of Taipei, and has an estimated 70,000 members.  The CNP, 
established in 1993 by younger KMT members who opposed the 
KMT's domination by the "mainstream" supporters of Chairman 
Lee, holds seven LY seats and claims 44,000 members.  The CNP 
demonstrated its strength in northern Taiwan by winning 11 of 
the 52 seats on the Taipei municipal council during the 
December election.  The DPP and CNP, supported at times by the 
five independent legislators, played a major role in the LY 
despite the KMT's majority.  During the LY's second session, 
beginning in September, for example, the KMT lost its 
traditional majorities on the foreign affairs, national 
defense, and education committees, giving its political 
opponents an increased voice in legislative debates on these 
issues.

Following March elections for city and county council speakers 
and deputy speakers, Justice Minister Ma Ying-Jeou, supported 
by President Lee Teng-Hui, led a widespread crackdown on 
election bribery.  More than 330 of the 883 council members who 
had been elected in January, along with 131 others were 
indicted as a result of this investigation.  The overwhelming 
majority of these were KMT members.  Of those indicted, more 
than 280 received sentences ranging from a few months to more 
than 7 years in prison; the council members remain in office, 
however, pending appeals of their sentences to the high court.

The Constitution provides for equal rights for women, but their 
role in politics, while increasing, remains limited.  
Nevertheless, a number of women hold senior positions in the 
Government and the KMT, including Minister without Portfolio 
and KMT Central Standing Committee (CSC) member Shirley Kuo (a 
former finance minister), KMT Deputy Secretary General and 
former CSC member Jeanne Tchong-Kwei Li, the Director General 
of the National Health Administration, and one major general in 
the armed forces.  In addition, 15 of 153 LY members, 42 of 325 
NA members, 13 of 77 provincial assembly members, 3 of 29 
Control Yuan members, and 205 of 1,221 judges are women.

Aborigine representatives participate in most levels of the 
political system, partially through six reserved seats in the 
national and legislative assemblies and two seats in the 
provincial assembly--half of each elected by the Plains 
Aborigines and half by Mountain Aborigines.  Other appointed 
officials who are Aborigines include the chief of the Ministry 
of Interior's Aborigine Affairs Section, the deputy director of 
the provincial Aborigine Affairs Bureau, and the chairman of 
the Pingtung county KMT Committee.  In addition, the elected 
magistrate of Taitung county is an aborigine.

Section 4  Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
           Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
           of Human Rights

The principal human rights organizations are the 
establishment-oriented Chinese Association of Human Rights 
(CAHR) and the opposition-aligned Taiwan Association for Human 
Rights (TAHR).  Coordination between the two bodies is 
limited.  Despite the authorities' refusal to register it (see 
Section 2.b.), TAHR continues to operate.  Both organizations 
investigate human rights complaints, many of which come to 
public attention through the media and statements by lawmakers 
from all political parties.

The authorities permit representatives of international human 
rights organizations to visit Taiwan and meet citizens freely.

Section 5  Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
           Disability, Language, or Social Status

The Constitution provides for equality of citizens before the 
law "irrespective of sex, religion, race, class, or party 
affiliation."  Other laws guarantee the rights of disabled 
persons.  While the authorities are committed to protecting 
these rights, some areas of discrimination continue to exist.


     Women

The law prohibits sex discrimination, and many discriminatory 
sections of the Legal Code relating to divorce, property, and 
child custody have been eliminated in recent years.  In 
September the Council of Grand Justices (CGJ) declared 
unconstitutional a Civil Code provision dating back to the 
1930's which gives fathers priority in child custody disputes.  
However, the CGJ ruling invalidating this provision does not 
take effect for 2 years.

Taiwan does not have an equal employment rights law, and 
enforcement of existing sex discrimination laws remains a 
problem.  Labor laws provide for maternity leave, but employers 
do not always grant it.  Women have also complained of being 
forced to quit jobs upon marriage or because of age or 
pregnancy.  Women often complain of less frequent promotions 
and lower salaries than their male counterparts.

Domestic violence, especially wife beating, is a serious 
problem.  According to a survey by the Taiwan provincial Social 
Affairs Department in March, 17.8 percent of married women have 
been beaten by their husbands.  The DPP Women's Development 
Committee said other statistics showed 35 percent of married 
women were victims of spouse abuse.  The issue was highlighted 
by the conviction in February of Teng Ju-Wen, who was sentenced 
by the district court to 5 1/2 years in prison for murdering 
her husband, despite her claim to have been a victim of her 
husband's abuse for many years; her sentence was later reduced 
to 3 1/2 years on appeal.  According to Taiwan laws, a 
prosecutor may not investigate domestic violence cases until a 
spouse files a formal lawsuit.  Although some cases are 
prosecuted, strong social pressure discourages abused women 
from reporting incidents to the police in order to avoid 
disgracing their families.

Rape also remains a serious problem, and its victims are 
socially stigmatized.  One expert believes that only 10 percent 
of the estimated 7,000 rapes occurring annually are reported to 
the police.  Under Taiwan law, the authorities may not 
prosecute for rape; only the victim may file a complaint.  The 
Criminal Code establishes the punishment for rape as not less 
than 5 years' imprisonment, and those convicted are usually 
sentenced to from 5 to 10 years in prison.  The standard 
practice followed by the MOJ is to assign female prosecutors to 
rape cases and to have the cases heard before female judges.  
Because rape trials are public, women have been reluctant to 
prosecute their attackers--although support from feminist and 
social welfare organizations has made victims more willing to 
come forward and press charges.  In a May demonstration in 
Taipei, 1,000 people demanded better legislation to prevent 
sex-related crimes and called on the Minister of Education to 
resign for failure to handle sexual harassment and rape cases 
on college campuses.

In April a group of Taiwan women married to foreigners held a 
press conference to claim discrimination because their husbands 
are not given residence or working rights in Taiwan and their 
children are not allowed to enter public schools.  After the 
issue was raised, the authorities announced that foreign 
husbands would be allowed to stay in Taiwan for 6 months at a 
time rather than being given residence permits for shorter 
periods.  The authorities noted that special registration 
permits are available to allow the children of Taiwan women 
with foreign husbands to attend public schools.  Officials 
note, however, that some of these regulations will continue to 
exist until nationality laws are amended.

Prostitution, including coerced prostitution and child 
prostitution (see below), is also a problem in Taiwan although 
there is little public attention to the adult prostitution 
issue.  When the police discover illegal prostitution, the 
cases are prosecuted according to the Criminal Code.  However, 
the authorities do accept the existence of registered houses of 
prostitution, especially in urban areas including Taipei and 
Kaohsiung.

     Children

The Constitution has provisions to protect children's rights, 
and the authorities are committed to support them.  Education 
for children between 6 and 15 years of age is compulsory and 
enforced.  The Constitution provides that spending on education 
shall be no less than 15 percent of the central budget, 25 
percent of the provincial and special municipality budgets, and 
35 percent of the county and city budgets.

Child prostitution is a serious problem involving between 
40,000 and 60,000 children, an estimated 20 percent of them 
aboriginal children (see Indigenous People section below).  
Most child prostitutes range from 12 through 16 years of age.  
The Juvenile Welfare Law enables juvenile welfare bodies, 
prosecutors, and victims to apply to courts for termination of 
guardianship of parents and the appointment of qualified 
guardians if parents have forced their children into 
prostitution.  If children are engaged in prostitution of their 
own free will, and the parents are incapable of providing safe 
custody, the courts may order competent authorities to provide 
counseling education for not less than 6 months and not more 
than 2 years.  However, legal loopholes and cultural barriers 
remain obstacles to prosecution.  For example, if both parents 
have sold a child into prostitution, the current law requires 
the victim to lodge a complaint before prosecution is 
undertaken.  In many cases, the child is reluctant or afraid to 
do so.  According to some reports, violence, drug addiction, 
and other forms of coercion are used by brothel owners to 
prevent girls from escaping.  In addition, laws directed 
against customers and pimps of child prostitutes are weak.

Child abuse is also a significant problem.  The Chinese Child 
Welfare Foundation reported in July that 2,080 child abuse 
cases occurred in Taiwan from June 1993 through July 1994--an 
increase of 245 from the previous year; the Foundation said 
that 80 percent of the abuse came from children's divorced 
parents.  The 1993 revision of the Child Welfare Act mandates 
that any persons discovering cases of child abuse or neglect 
must notify the police, social welfare, or child welfare 
authorities, that child welfare specialists must do so within 
24 hours, and that the authorities involved must issue an 
investigation report within 24 hours.  Both the MOI Social 
Affairs Department and private organization specialists assert 
that these requirements are being followed.

     Indigenous People

Taiwan's only non-Chinese minority group consists of the 
aboriginal descendants of Malayo-Polynesians already 
established in Taiwan when the first Chinese settlers arrived.  
The ethnic identification of these indigenous people was 
clarified in July as the NA passed a constitutional amendment 
officially changing their name from "mountain people" to 
"Aborigines."  According to Ministry of Interior statistics, 
there were 357,000 Aborigines in Taiwan in 1993.  More than 70 
percent are Christian.

In general, the civil and political rights of aborigines are 
fully protected under law.  The NA amended the Constitution in 
1992 to upgrade the status of Aboriginal people, protect their 
right of political participation, and ensure cultural, 
educational, and business development.  In addition, the 
authorities have instituted social programs to help them 
assimilate into the dominant Chinese society.  As part of its 
efforts to preserve ethnic identities, the Ministry of 
Education now includes some Aboriginal-language classes in 
primary schools.

Although they face no official discrimination, the Aborigines 
have had little impact over the years on major decisions 
affecting their lands, culture, traditions, and the allocation 
of their national resources.  In addition, they complain they 
are prevented from owning ancestral lands in mountain areas 
under the authorities' control, some of which have been 
designated as national parks.  A group held a demonstration at 
Taiwan's major tourist site, Taroko Gorge, in October to demand 
they be allowed to hunt and raise crops on ancestral lands even 
if those lands are now within national parks.  Aborigines claim 
also that they face significant cultural and economic 
barriers.  The average income of Taiwan's Aborigines remains 
less than half of the national average.  According to MOI 
statistics, only 52 percent receive elementary educations.  
Researchers have found alcoholism to be a significant problem 
among the Aborigines, with alcohol addiction rates exceeding 40 
percent among members of three of the nine major tribes.  
Aborigines are not allowed to use non-Chinese personal names on 
legal documents.

The sale of Aboriginal girls by their parents into prostitution 
is a serious social problem (see Children section above).  The 
authorities have targeted 30 aboriginal villages for visits by 
social workers, provision of allowances, and vocational 
training to reduce the child prostitution problem.  While the 
results of this particular program are not yet available, the 
MOI Social Affairs Department points out that the police 
discovered fewer cases of child prostitution in 1994 than in 
1993, indicating a possible reduction in the problem.

     People with Disabilities

The Disabled Welfare Law was revised and strengthened in 1990.  
It prohibits discrimination against the disabled and sets 
minimum fines at approximately $2,400 for violators.  New 
public buildings, facilities, and transportation equipment must 
be accessible to the handicapped.  Existing public buildings 
are to be brought into conformity by 1995.

The MOI changed its official statistics in 1994 to show more 
than 280,000 disabled people in Taiwan rather than the 230,000 
it recognized in 1993.  A leading expert in the field, however, 
noted that, although the statistics have changed, the actual 
number of disabled is far larger than 280,000.  The true figure 
is probably between 400,000 and 500,000--possibly as high as 
700,000.  One-third of the disabled are severely handicapped 
and receive shelter or nursing care from the authorities.

The Disabled Welfare Law requires large government and private 
organizations to hire disabled persons, 2 and 1 percent of 
their work forces respectively.  Organizations failing to do so 
must pay, for each disabled person not hired, the basic monthly 
salary (approximately $540) into the Disabled Welfare Fund, 
which supports institutions involved in welfare for the 
disabled.  However, many organizations complain that it is 
difficult to find qualified disabled workers and appear to 
prefer to pay the fines involved.  The authorities have noted 
the impact of a traditional belief that the disabled lack the 
ability to do real work.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

A number of laws and regulations limit the right of 
association.  Labor unions may draw up their own rules and 
constitutions, but they must submit these to the authorities 
for review.  Unions may be dissolved if they do not meet 
certification requirements or if their activities disturb 
public order.  According to the authorities, no unions have 
been dissolved, although certification of new unions was denied 
in several cases during 1994 because competing unions were 
already in existence.  The Labor Union Law prohibits civil 
servants, teachers, and defense industry workers from 
organizing and bars administrative staff who act on behalf of 
employers from joining labor unions.

The Labor Union Law requires that union leaders be elected 
regularly by secret ballot, and, in recent years, workers have 
sometimes rejected KMT or management-endorsed union slates.  
Some workers have established independent unions and 
federations under other names, such as "friendship 
organizations" and "brotherhood alliances."  These groups may 
register with the MOI as legal civic organizations but not as 
labor unions; thus they are not protected by the Labor Union 
Law and do not have the right to bargain with their members' 
employers.


Unions may form confederations, but no administrative district, 
including a city, county, or province, can have competing labor 
confederations; therefore there is only one Taiwan-wide labor 
federation:  the Chinese Federation of Labor (CFL).  The CFL is 
closely associated with the KMT.  A standing member of the 
CFL's board of directors is a member of the KMT's Central 
Standing Committee.  The restriction on island-wide unions was 
challenged, however, in September when 12 unions from state-run 
enterprises announced they would withdraw from the CFL and 
establish a new national federation of labor unions of 
state-run enterprises.  Of the CFL's 2.9 million members, more 
than 300,000 work at state-run enterprises.  The drive for 
independent labor unions lost momentum in recent years due to 
generally higher wages, tougher tactics on the part of 
employers, the small scale and poor organization of most 
unions, and prosecution of labor activists by the authorities 
in the past.  No labor activists were charged during 1994.

Taiwan is not a member of the International Labor 
Organization.  The CFL is affiliated with the International 
Confederation of Free Trade Unions.

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

Except for the categories of workers noted in Section 6.a. 
above, the Labor Union Law and the Settlement of Labor Disputes 
Law give workers the right to organize and bargain 
collectively.  As of June, some 3.3 million workers, 
approximately 35 percent of Taiwan's 9-million labor force, 
belonged to 3,654 registered labor unions.

Under the Labor Union Law, employers may not refuse employment 
to, dismiss, or otherwise unfairly treat workers because they 
are union members.  In practice, however, union leaders have 
sometimes been dismissed without reasonable cause by employers, 
and observers point out that the law sets no specific penalties 
for violations.  According to the National Federation of 
Independent Trade Unionists, about 400 trade unionists and 
supporters have been fired since Taiwan's labor movement began 
to expand after the 1987 lifting of martial law.  Some 
observers believe that the firing of seven Evergreen Heavy 
Industries union leaders in August was in fact due to their 
union activities.

The Collective Agreements Law provides for collective 
bargaining but does not make it mandatory.  Since such 
agreements are made only in large-scale enterprises, and less 
than 5 percent of Taiwan's enterprises fall into this category, 
the proportion of workers covered remains small.  Employers set 
wages generally in accordance with market conditions.

The law governing labor disputes recognizes the right of unions 
to strike but imposes restrictions that make legal strikes 
difficult and seriously weaken collective bargaining.  For 
example, the authorities require involuntary mediation of 
labor/management disputes when they deem the disputes to be 
sufficiently serious or to involve "unfair practices."  The law 
forbids both labor and management from disrupting the "working 
order" when either mediation or arbitration is in progress.  
The law mandates stiff penalties for violations of 
no-strike/no-retaliation clauses, but employers have sometimes 
ignored the law and dismissed or locked out workers without any 
legal action being taken against them.  According to a January 
press report, the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) said that from 
1990 to September 1993, there were 30 strikes, of which 22 
involved workers at bus companies asking for increased pay and 
reduced hours.  (The CLA carries out the functions of a labor 
ministry but lacks cabinet rank.)

Firms in export processing zones are subject to the same laws 
regarding treatment of labor unions as other firms and follow 
normal practices in concluding collective bargaining agreements 
with their unions.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The Labor Standards Law prohibits forced or compulsory labor.  
There have been no reports of these practices.

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

The Labor Standards Law stipulates age 15, after compulsory 
education required by law ends, as the minimum age for 
employment.  As a result, child labor remains at a very low 
level.  County and city labor bureaus enforce minimum age 
laws.  As of October, 11,915 workers between the ages of 15 and 
16 were employed by manufacturing industries.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

The Taiwan Labor Standards Law (LSL) mandates labor standards.  
According to the CLA, in May the law covered 3.54 million of 
Taiwan's 6.1 million salaried workers.  The law is not well 
enforced in areas such as overtime work and pay or retirement 
payments.

The law limits the workweek to 48 hours (8 hours per day, 6 
days per week) and requires 1 day off in every 7 days.  As of 
August, the minimum wage was set at approximately $540 (NT 
14,010) per month.  This is less than that needed to assure a 
decent standard of living for a worker and his family.  
However, the average manufacturing wage is more than double the 
legal minimum wage, and the average for service industry 
employees is even higher.

The 1991 revised Occupational Safety and Health Law enlarged 
coverage to include workers in agriculture, fishing, and 
forestry industries and appeared to strengthen penalties for 
safety violations; however, it still provides only minimal 
standards for working conditions and health and safety 
precautions.  Article 13 of the Occupational Safety and Health 
Law gives workers the right to remove themselves from dangerous 
work situations without jeopardy to continued employment.  Some 
critics see the law as a step backward; they note, for example, 
that general contractors are not responsible for the safety of 
those working for subcontractors under the revised law.

The 1993 Labor Inspection Law was designed to strengthen the 
enforcement of labor standards and health and safety 
regulations.  It increased the number of enterprises and types 
of safety issues to be inspected; gave inspectors 
quasi-judicial rights; required preexamination of dangerous 
working places such as naphtha cracking plants, pesticide 
factories, and firecracker factories; and raised penalties for 
violations.  Critics say, however, that the CLA does not 
effectively enforce workplace laws and regulations because it 
employs too few inspectors.  In 1994 there were fewer than 300 
inspectors for the approximately 300,000 enterprises covered by 
the Occupational Safety and Health Law.  Because the new law 
expanded coverage to include more enterprises, the inspection 
rate actually declined.  Since most enterprises are small, 
family-owned operations employing relatives who will not report 
violations, actual adherence to the hours, wage, and safety 
sections of various labor laws is hard to document but is 
thought to be minimal in the smaller enterprises.

Because of Taiwan's acute labor shortage, there has been a 
legal influx of foreign workers in the last several years.  The 
law stipulates that foreign workers who are employed legally 
receive the same protection as local workers.  However, 
authorities say that in many cases illegal foreign workers are 
given board and lodging but no medical coverage, accident 
insurance, or other benefits enjoyed by individuals from 
Taiwan.  In addition, critics say that conditions in many small 
and medium-sized factories which employ illegal labor are 
dangerous, due to old and poorly maintained equipment.  Illegal 
workers remain vulnerable to exploitation, including 
confiscation of passports, imposition of involuntary deductions 
from wages, and extension of working hours without overtime pay.

In October a Council of Agriculture survey showed that 75 
percent of boat owners admitted to hiring illegal mainland 
Chinese seamen to work on fishing boats.  Because of Taiwan 
restrictions on the entry of mainlanders (see Section 2.d.), 
the mainland fishermen were generally poorly housed on 
"floating hotels" located 12 nautical miles offshore, outside 
Taiwan's jurisdiction; 90 percent of the owners called 
conditions on these floating hotels inhumane.  The plight of 
these workers was highlighted in July when one of several 
floating hotels was caught in the first typhoon of the season 
and sank, drowning 10 mainland workers and one from Taiwan.



[end of document]

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