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Immigration officer guilty of sex abuses

Support group wants reforms after high profile conviction

Sister Stephana Wei Wei (center left) wants changes to the way migrant cases are handled Sister Stephana Wei Wei (center left) wants changes to the way migrant cases are handled
  • Francis Kuo, Taipei
  • Taiwan
  • October 18, 2012
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A Catholic labor organization has urged the government to overhaul attitudes towards illegal foreign workers in Taiwan after an immigration police officer was sentenced to a five-year jail term for molesting four migrants.

Shih Pao-ning, 49, was sentenced on Monday after he was found guilty of sexually abusing two Vietnamese women, a Filipina and a Thai.

“Some officials tend to look down upon migrant workers,” said Sister Stephana Wei Wei, director of Catholic-run labor concern group Rerum Novarum Center.

Loopholes in the investigation process of illegal immigrants facilitates crimes against them, she said, adding that immigration authorities “should prohibit one-on-one closed-door interviews without the presence of an interpreter or social worker.”

Shih's guilt was exposed in evidence that included recordings of interviews he conducted with the four women.

He covered up video cameras in an interview in which he ordered one of the women to strip naked and then touched her breasts, but he failed to switch off the audio.

Shih, previously dubbed a rising star by Taiwanese media after recording a number of high profile human trafficking arrests, had previously been an advocate for migrant human rights and an  end to their exploitation.

There are currently close to 500 illegal migrants in detention in Taiwan awaiting deportation.

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