Hsing Wu University in New Taipei City. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Hsing Wu University in New Taipei City. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry plans will conduct an investigation after a report surfaced in the media about Indonesian students being forced to work in factories in Taiwan.

Antara News reported that the Indonesia Trade and Economic Chamber (KDEI) had received complaints from students doing internships since 2017. According to Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, the director for the Protection of Indonesian Citizens and Legal Entities at the Foreign Ministry, said his organization had contacted local authorities for clarification about the claims.

Preliminary inquiries showed students in the internship scheme faced different situations. The Indonesian Foreign Ministry asked the KDEI to help ensure that local government bodies in Taiwan take the right steps to protect the safety and interests of the students.

The chamber wants local authorities to halt any recruitment and placement of students looking to take up internships in Taiwan until better oversight is guaranteed.

According to a media report from Taiwan Apple Daily, some Indonesian students at Hsing Wu University in New Taipei City were found to be working at a factory. They were initially offered scholarships with free accommodation and food, as well as the opportunity to stay in Taiwan and work after graduating.

It was revealed that these students only went to class two days a week, and were forced to work four days a week – 10 hours a day – at a factory that packaged contact lenses.

Under the law in Taiwan, fresh graduates of institutes of higher learning are prohibiting from any sort of work.