Taiwan, Swaziland ink MOU to combat human trafficking
Taiwan and the Kingdom of Swaziland have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate on anti-terrorism, immigration affairs and the prevention of human trafficking, Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency (NIA) said Thursday.
The agreement will enable Taiwan and Swaziland to work closely within the confines of the law to jointly battle the cross-border issues of human trafficking, illegal immigration and smuggling, and exchange information on suspected terrorist activities, the NIA said.
To tackle the problem of illegal immigration, for example, the two countries will cooperate on the identification of fake passports, said Frank Fu section chief of the NIA’s foreign affairs division.
“As Taiwanese passport holders can now enter many countries visa-free, an increasing number of mainland Chinese citizens are using fake Taiwanese passports to enter other countries,” Fu said.
NIA Director-General Mo Tien-hu noted that Taiwan has been listed as a Tier 1 country in the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report for five consecutive years — the only Asian country other than South Korea to have done so — and is willing to share its experience with other countries.
The memorandum was signed by Mo in Taiwan on March 17 and by Anthony Masilela, principal secretary of Swaziland’s Ministry of Home Affairs, in Swaziland on April 8.
The signing of the MOU makes Swaziland the 13th country in the world, and the second African nation, after The Gambia, to sign such an agreement with Taiwan. Other countries include the United States, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and Guatemala.
Fu told CNA his agency will likely sign agreements with three more countries by the end of this year, but declined to name those countries because talks are still underway.
He said the signing of the MOU with Swaziland went smoothly because the two sides have diplomatic relations, but his agency has also expressed interest in inking such agreements with South Africa, Nigeria and other countries that Taiwan does not have diplomatic ties with.