Taiwan’s population is getting older, with over 20 percent of the population currently being over the age of 65. By 2060, more than 41 percent of the population will be elderly. This poses a problem for Taiwan, as it will face a labor shortage in the future. Many migrant workers from Southeast Asia are currently filling vacant roles in industries such as elder care, agriculture, and fishing. However, these workers often face issues such as high fees, debt, lack of job flexibility, and abuse. These human rights violations have been noticed by the United States and could impact Taiwan’s image and relationships with other countries. Taiwan has a goal to bring in 400,000 workers by 2030, but currently, it has only focused on easing residency requirements for white-collar workers. Discussions on overseas workers are also linked to tensions between China and Southeast Asian countries. Taiwan must ensure worker protections and address human rights violations to maintain its image and relationships with other countries. The United States should monitor the situation and support policies for better working conditions. These reforms could also influence other East and Southeast Asian countries and increase Taiwan’s soft power in the region.
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