移工的仲介故事书-新书推介

【这是2019年12月台湾移工联盟出版《移工的仲介故事书》新书发表时何春蕤写的推介文】

「故事书」的世界,通常充斥着不可思议、无法想像的人物和剧情。这本移工的仲介故事书就是这样。

作为一个4年来靠着外劳看护照顾年迈公婆的「雇主」,我以为我多多少少了解这个领域和其中的人物状态,然而在阅读移工的仲介故事时,我不只一次充满惊讶迫不及待地把书中不可思议的情况转述给身旁的家人听。

台湾雇主关切的只是:移工会不会中文?会不会照顾老人?会不会作家事?什么时候会抵达?可不可靠?

我们不会思考的是:移工是怎么从偏远隔绝的东南亚乡下来到台湾雇主家里?她们经历过怎样的打造和锤炼,背负了怎样的仲介费用和债务压力,持续被侷促在怎样的孤绝情境里,才能被彻底奴化,逆来顺受地接下雇主自己完全不愿承担的劳动?

这本故事书说的,正是某些东南亚人群如何「被」仲介制度转变成国际移工的亲身经历,也是台湾雇主在使用或享受移工服务时没有面对的黑暗代价。

在故事中,雇主国与移工国之间的巨大经济差距,首先透过风声与憧憬,形成单向的虹吸效应。雇主国社会生活与人口结构的转变,造成底层劳动力的匮乏与巨大需求,移工案例快速增长,创造了仲介(合法人蛇)和他们所谓的服务(合法剥削)登场,堂而皇之地筑起层层剥削、环环暴利的劳动力输送渠道。两边政府则选择做最被动而有限的「客诉」工作,有人投诉时才登场施恩协助。

仲介制度的现状和弊端其实反映了多年来因应各方需求的发展。例如它也提供一些专业培训,并敦促求职者学习雇主国的语言,一方面可以回应「人口贩运」的指控,另方面又可以增加收费的名目。相关管道和管理上的模糊与繁复,则使得无法掌握资讯又欠缺协商能力的弱势求职者,很容易落入听人摆布、负债出工的位置。

很难想像台湾多达70万的外籍劳工就是倚靠这种拼凑将就的私人仲介制度来运送;民族、文化、阶级、国家之间的各种高下差距,都使得基本的人道人权──就像故事书中所记录的──在私欲和贪婪中成为奢谈。

跨国的自由流动或许是暂时无法达到的理想,但是移工所面对的残酷现实却是可以透过更好的制度安排来化解的。这本故事书已经指出了明路,移工运动的持续努力势必会将它落实。

 

The world of the storybook is filled with incredible unimaginable characters and stories.  The migrant workers’ storybook in front of you is no different.

As an “employer” who had benefited from the service of a migrant worker to take care of my aging in-laws for the past 4 years, I thought I knew the world of migrant workers well.  Yet in the process of reading the broker stories of migrant workers, I was so surprised by the incredible accounts in the storybook that I was compelled to pause and relay the stories to other family members time and again.

As employers, Taiwanese are concerned about whether the migrant speaks Chinese, whether she knows how to care for the elderly, whether she can do housework, whether she will arrive in time, whether she is trustworthy or not, etc.

Rarely do the employers think: How are the migrant workers removed from their remote countryside homes somewhere in South East Asia and relocated in their employers’ homes in Taiwan?  What kind of molding and training have they suffered, what kind of broker costs and loans are they forced to take up, what kind of isolated desolate conditions are they put into–so that they are thoroughly enslaved to accept all the work and duties that the employers themselves despise to perform?

This storybook tells about the personal experiences of how certain populations in South East Asia were transformed into international migrants by the broker system.  It also reveals the unmentioned backside of the services provided by migrant workers and enjoyed by their Taiwanese employers.

In the stories, the huge economic difference between the employer nation and the labor-exporting nation produces a one-sided attraction through successful cases and wonderful legends.  Because of the dramatic change in the employer nation’s social and population structure, a vast shortage and hence demand for lower-level labor is created.  As migrant cases accumulate, brokers (in many cases, legal traffickers) and their so-called “services” (in many cases, legitimate exploitation) came into existence, building up conduits for labor transportation that involves multiple layers of exploitation and huge profits.  The two governments, on the other hand, choose to perform the most passive “customer complaint” service—only when complaints are successfully filed would they emerge to help with the cases.

The present condition of and problems with the broker system reflect developments that emerged with years of expedient coping.  As it stands now, the broker system would provide some professional training and even language training to avoid accusations of trafficking, but the training courses also create more reasons for extra fees and charges.  The complexities and ambiguities of the broker system on the other had left most migrants in a position of vulnerability due to their lack of access to necessary information and their low stakes in negotiation.

It’s hard to imagine that more than 700,000 migrants that now work in Taiwan arrived through this kind of haphazard private broker system, where various structural differences in ethnic, cultural, class, and nation status dimensions make measures that promote humanitarianism and human rights in migrant issues a luxury, as described in the book.

Free flow of population across national borders may be an ideal to be realized only in the distant future, but the atrocities and hardships faced by migrant workers could be and must be amended by well-thought systems and arrangements.  This book points to a clear path toward that goal, and the continued efforts of the migrant movement will see to it that the path becomes a thoroughfare for all migrants.

引用本文请保留网页原始注记