The Children of Migrant Workers: Forgotten Beings

The sad stories of children, whose mother came here to work, for a better future, from the Front Page Sections, translated…


In the train stations, as well as the parks, you’d often seen the migrant workers from southeast Asia, accompanying the elderly on their walks, or caring for the next generations of the Taiwanese people.  They’d taken out loans to come here, in hopes, that they could somehow, improve the wealth of their own homes, and, Taiwan became another sort of a homeland to them.

In Taiwan, there’s a group of “invisible children” from migrant workers, they’re the children, born under migrant parents here in Taiwan, they’d followed their parents around, working here, most of them don’t even have statuses.  The reporters went into their places, to make the outside world aware, of these children, who were actually, a part of the Taiwanese community, but were, unseen.

Last year, the child of a migrant worker, at eight years of age, was discovered by the social workers, he and his parents resided in the cemeteries long-term, as the little girl was found, she was skin and bones, she’s supposedly in the third grade, but had not yet received any education at all, relied on her parents teaching her simple mathematics and phonetic spellings, as this story was brought out to the open, it’d caused the society to become active.  But, she is not the only case, the social services foundations made the rough estimate of around 150 kids who are living like this in Taiwan right now.

Up until now, the basic human rights of these children from migrant workers are overlooked by the government.  The Department of Immigrations estimated that there are about 40,000 unregistered or missing on file migrant workers in Taiwan, as for the unregistered children of the migrant workers, the number is still unknown.

The reporters of this paper followed the leads that the migrant workers gave them, tracked to a place up north, where the workers left their kids to be taken care of, before the reporters set foot into the place, they’d heard children’s laughter.

As the reporters entered into the facility, they saw over ten kids playing in the living room, as the kids saw the adults, they all raised their arms high up, called out, “a hug, a hug”, other than these two, three year-olds, there are seven to eight infants, sleeping in a row, on the couch close by.

The caretaker introduced, that there would be forty to fifty kids who come and go in and out of the facility each and every month, like “Xiang”, the two year-old from Vietnamese migrant workers, he just started talking, calling the caretakers in the facility “mommy!”

The caretaker said, that “Xiang’s” mom because she couldn’t bear the thought of being separated from him, had once taken him up into the mountains to work, but, she couldn’t manage, and, because the weather was too cold, the child had frostbites, and so, she was, forced to drop her son off here, “Every time his mom came to visit, she’d cried and hugged him, she’d cried like hell each and every single time!”

The eight-month-old “Hua”, is a child from Indonesian parents, because the parents lived closer to the facility, Hua became the luckiest kid in the facility, the parents would come visit her every week when they had time off.

The three-year-old Ting, is the most depressed child of all, her Indonesian mother dropped her off, before she went southbound to work, and, it’s been two years since she was dropped off, the facility hadn’t heard from the mother again.  The caretaker observed, that her mother may not ever come back for her, “It’s so very sad”.

A caretaker stated, that the nationality here is based on “belonging”, so, before the parents of these children claims them back, take them home with them, they’re all, considered, “ghosts”, with NO status, or benefits whatsoever.  The caretakers said, most of the kids don’t cry out of turn, and are really well-behaved, and, their mothers will take them home, after they’d made enough money; as for those who were just left and abandoned, became “ghosts” without the proper citizenship status, and their future is blank.

And so, this, is awful, because the parents don’t have the statuses and the kids were born, and, the parents had to work, they couldn’t possibly watch their young, and so, they’d, dropped them off at this place, and these kids will just, get kicked around by the systems, and, many of them won’t even get a chance to grow up, I’m certain of it!

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Filed under Abandonment of Children, Childhood, Cost of Living, Issues of the Society, Life, Social Awareness, Social Issues, Socialization, White Picket Fence

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