By Sr Ditma Luz Trocio MIC
A missionary from Baroy, Lanao del Norte, Sr Ditma Luz Trocio is well aware of the plight of migrant workers, particularly that of domestics, in Taipei. Her various commitments in the parish allow her fruitful occasions to meet some overseas contract workers and learn more about their life experience. Sr Ditma Luz was executive secretary of the Asian Meeting of Religious (AMOR) when the secretariat was based inTaipei. AMOR is an organization of Asia-Pacific religious deeply concerned with the empowerment of oppressed women. She speaks to us about this ministry where together people try to find, and open, spaces of solidarity and justice.
It is a well-known fact. Since about 1990, Taiwan has become one of the favored destinations of a large number of job seekers and capital investors from all over the world. This country’s economic miracle and financial prowess have thus attracted multicultural groups, who as a whole, form a complex society. Workers from Thailand, presently the most numerous, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, India, from African countries and some from the West, have flocked to Taiwan as Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs). Forced by circumstances to work as domestics, migrant workers are hired for specific jobs and are expected to leave Taiwan at the end of a two-year contract. This policy seeks to avoid keeping undesirable migrants in the country as much as it is meant to prevent abusive practices by employers. Issues of injustice, of human rights violations, sex exploitation and other social problems have sprung up. On the other hand some ‘quiet’ churches have become alive because of the presence of Catholic migrant workers who flock to them every Sunday. Some domestic workers who are professionals and deeply committed to their faith have, by their Christian witnessing and sharing of the basic tenets of the faith, influenced the families they work for.