Foreigners in Taiwan have new protections

02-Nov-2019 Intellasia | Taipei Times | 8:09 AM Print This Post

Ministry of Justice officials on Wednesday said new measures are in place to assist foreign citizens if they are victims of a crime committed in Taiwan, following the case of Hong Kong suspect Chan Tong-kai, who allegedly murdered his girlfriend Poon Hiu-wing in Taiwan last year.

The amended provisions in the Crime Victim Protection Act have made Taiwan one of the more progressive countries in the world in terms of state assistance and compensation for victims who are foreigners, deputy minister of Justice Chen Ming-tan told a news conference in Taipei on Wednesday.

The victims could be foreigners working at business firms, migrant labourers from Southeast Asian countries or tourists, he said.

If a foreigner is killed while in Taiwan, whether by violent crime or accidental death at a job site, the victim’s family can apply for financial compensation, with the maximum amount set at NT$1.4 million (US$45,959), Chen said.

The family of victims who are killed must apply at the respective city or county district prosecutor’s office. Recently, compensation provided to families has been about NT$600,000 to NT$800,000, section chief at the ministry’s Department of Prevention, Rehabilitation and Protection Chu Nien-chin (朱念慈) said.

Chu said that there have been cases in the past year of migrant labourers being injured or killed at job sites, and prosecutions are ongoing for alleged negligence by their employers, who, if convicted, would have to award financial compensation to the victims and perhaps even be sentenced to jail time.

In addition to financial compensation, the ministry provides interpretation services for the victim’s family, psychological counselling, and transportation arrangements and funeral assistance if needed, Chu said.

Chen said that assistance and compensation measures took effect after the October 1 bridge collapse in Nanfangao in Yilan County, with social workers, interpreters and counsellors providing help for families of the victims, who were fishers from Indonesia and the Philippines.

“Taiwan can be seen as progressive in these types of situations. In the past, some more advanced countries or those who have mutual legal assistance agreements with us, have demanded financial compensation when their citizens were killed because of an accident taking place in Taiwan, but other countries did not do so,” Chen said.

“After all, humane principles should apply here; people’s lives are equal, no matter which country they come from,” he added.


Category: Taiwan

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