Taiwan’s diplomat writing exam sees ‘migrant worker care’ as focus

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Taiwan has around 700,000 migrant workers who help with the nation’s most difficult jobs, and how to care for them and protect them has become an integral topic that needs to be addressed.

National Changhua University of Education resident writer (台灣國立彰化師範大學) Kang Yuan’s (康原) work “The Ballad and Dynamic Stories of Migrant Workers” (滾動的移工詩情) was recently selected as a prompt for a diplomat exam.

As part of the question for Chinese composition, test-takers were asked to emphasize the “care” mentioned in the work and to see and understand migrant workers through this lens. They were tasked to illustrate the stories of migrant workers they have heard of or seen firsthand and put forward specific ways to care for and help them.

In the book, Kang mentioned, “In the streets and alleyways in Taiwan, we can often catch a glimpse of Southeast Asian migrant workers.”

“In order to change their financial situation back home, they left their hometowns, families, and traveled to Taiwan for work. They nourished our land with sweat and blood. As Taiwanese, have we done all we could to care for them?”

Kang believes that migrant workers are vivid figures, rooted in every corner of urban and rural areas in Taiwan, and has expanded to Taiwan’s manufacturing, agriculture, animal husbandry, fishery, elderly care and other workplaces.

He stressed that though Taiwanese may take it for granted, migrant workers are the behind-the-scenes heroes supporting Taiwan’s economic development.

In addition to attention, kindness, and gratitude, the book also outlines the social and delicate feelings of migrant workers through stories of their work-life and times of relaxation.

The book looks into their rights from a humanitarian perspective as well as from a labor perspective. It voices expectations for the government and media to continue paying attention to the treatment migrant workers in Taiwan receive.

Hopefully, through social promotion and faithful reporting, migrant workers will not long just be passers-by in Taiwan and will be able to view Taiwan as their second home.