Aid for Migrant Fishers
The Papal Foundation Grants $25,000 to End Abuse and Trafficking of Fishermen in Taiwan
This grant will support education and advocacy efforts to help end abuse and human trafficking of migrant fishers in Penghu, Taiwan. Penghu is an archipelago of 90 islands and islets, where there are 3,152 migrant workers, 2,160 of which are fishers.
More than 2,000 migrant fishermen live and work on the island of Magong in western Taiwan, hailing from Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. In many cases, their only human contact is with the owners of fishing vessels on which they work and their labor brokers. As a result, these fishermen are often beaten, assaulted and mistreated with impunity. For example, when a fisherman is no longer able to work due to injury, sickness or exhaustion, he is abandoned on the island with no way to provide for himself or to return home. Fisherman rarely report abuse because of the island’s distance from Taiwan and because they do not understand their rights.
This grant, which is a collaboration between the Scalabrini Fathers and the Taiwanese Bureau of Immigration, will ensure migrant fishers, domestic workers and even locals are educated on migrants’ rights and human trafficking issues through research, advocacy activities, public forums and lectures. A large portion of the funding will go toward a new staff member at the Apostleship of the Sea: Stella Maris Center in Kaosiung, who will travel monthly to Magong to provide this training and help bring those fishermen who need assistance back to Taiwan.
Lastly, the dollars will fund critical supplies and free medical treatment such as physicals, eye exams, and dental check-ups to those who need them, as well as basic self-care services such as haircuts.