Currently, four Afghans with valid residence permits live in Taiwan. When asked Taiwan should join forces accepting Afghan refugees, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded that Taiwan is yet to have refugee law so it can only offer limited assistance.
Many Afghans are fleeing the country after the Taliban seized control. Many countries around the world are accepting Afghan refugees. A media personality suggested the government join the team and allow 1,000 Afghan women to receive their education in Taiwan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded that Taiwan doesn't yet have a refugee law and it will determine what feasible assistance it can offer under the current circumstances.
Tsui Ching-lin, Deputy Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson:” As our country hasn't yet finished drawing up a refugee law, the government can only look at the current situation and cooperate with the initiatives of the international community and countries with similar ideologies and offers feasible assistance within our capabilities.”
MOFA said cross-ministry coordination will be needed before Taiwan can open its doors due to the need to verify the identity of Afghan refugees, resettle them, and help them find jobs or attend school.
Human rights groups say the government needs to pass a refugee law, as well as issue humanitarian visas. Statistics show Taiwan only aided 50 non-Chinese or Hong Kong refugees from Yemen, Nigeria, and other war-torn countries in the last 10 years. Human rights groups say Taiwan need not worry about an influx should it open its arms to refugees, since the island is geographically isolated and it is costly to come in.
Lin Shu-han, Refugee Issues Commissioner, TAHR:” The reality is that refugees aren't considering the national policies of countries when they are fleeing. If it's that difficult to establish a new law, then existing ones can be amended, such as the Immigration Act. This way, there will be a law to help these people in need of assistance to settle down and live in Taiwan.”
The Taiwan Association for Human Rights said there are currently four Afghans with valid residence permits to live in Taiwan. It urges the government to pay attention to when their permits expire and offer any necessary assistance. If more Afghan people arrive in Taiwan or transit in Taiwan in the future, those seeking asylum should not be regarded as illegal immigrants, and the principle of non-repatriation should not be violated.