Family of ex-slave ‘Isabel’ decides to visit her in the US


TAIPEI–Family members of “Isabel,” a Taiwanese woman profiled in a CNN Freedom Project report on human slavery, said Friday that they have decided to visit her after waiting unsuccessfully for her call for several days.

Taitung County resident Ho Hsiao-ying, who has insisted she is the younger sister of Isabel, the pseudonym of the alleged victim, said she will fly with her boyfriend and another sister to Orange County, California to meet her long-lost kin.

Ho said they will show Isabel a video of other family members sending her their blessings. Their mother, who said a day earlier that she wanted to see Isabel before she dies, will not go because of her illness, Ho added.

Taitung County Deputy Magistrate Chang Chi-yi visited the Ho family on Friday evening to help them handle issues related to the trip.

The indigenous Paiwan family had hoped Isabel, whose real name is believed to be Ho Hsiao-feng, would call them after she got their home phone number from Foreign Minister Timothy Yang during a meeting in Los Angeles on Nov. 23.

But Isabel, who according to the CNN report suffered years of abuse, has not contacted the family so far. According to Yang, she told him she was not ready to see her family yet.

Isabel, now in her 30s, told CNN that she had been sold to a wealthy family in Taipei at the age of 7 and later moved to California with them. According to the report, she was enslaved and abused for most of her childhood until she managed to escape when she was in her 20s.