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ROC (Taiwan) Embassy to the Holy See and Vatican co-host International Conference on Human Trafficking
By Huang Ya-shi
Central News Agency
April 10, 2019

Vatican – Responding to Pope Francis's appeal for the world to come together in combating human trafficking, Chi Hui-jung, CEO of the Taiwanese NGO Garden of Hope Foundation, shared her experience on the issue at the International Conference on Human Trafficking, held at the Vatican from April 9 to 11. Chi, whose organization also supported the event, spoke on "Breaking the chain of exploitation: Sharing Taiwan's experience in stopping human trafficking."

Convened by the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Holy See Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, the conference focused on the Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking, which were released earlier this year. Pope Francis, who has paid close attention to immigration and refugee issues, personally attended the conference, the conclusions of which will serve as guidelines for future Vatican policy. Taiwan, for its part, has long sought to protect fundamental human rights, and its government is working to bring an end to human trafficking by bringing together the resources of NGOs.

Matthew S. M. Lee, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Holy See, delivered remarks at the conference's opening ceremony in which he pointed out that Taiwan's efforts to crack down on human trafficking have earned it a top-tier ranking in the past nine consecutive US State Department Trafficking in Persons Reports. In 2006, Taiwan initiated a Human Trafficking Prevention Action Plan, which covers precautionary measures, strengthened protections, patrols and seizures, and cooperation with partner states and organizations.

Ambassador Lee also said that President Tsai Ing-wen, in her response to Pope Francis's World Day of Peace message earlier this year, noted that Taiwan has so far signed agreements on human trafficking prevention with 18 countries, underscoring Taiwan's determination to play a role in solving global issues and to bring itself into line with international norms.

In introducing Chi Hui-jung to the conference participants, Lee highlighted the important contributions that the Garden of Hope Foundation has made in assisting disadvantaged women and children in Taiwan, emphasizing that the foundation's work in preventing human trafficking, sexual violence and exploitation, and domestic violence reflects Taiwan's human rights-based approach to governance.

In his own remarks at the event, Migrants and Refugees Section Under-Secretary Fr. Michael Czerny expressed special thanks for the Taiwanese Embassy's longstanding support in refugee aid, and mentioned the deep impression left by Taiwan-made solar-powered radios with charging and lighting functions, small pieces of technology which have greatly improved refugees' quality of life.