Taiwan and the Czech Republic have launched a reciprocal working holiday program.
Up to 100 working holiday visas are available to people from each country aged from 18 to 26.
The Czech Republic is the ninth country in Europe and the 14th in the world to have signed a work-holiday agreement with Taiwan. The other countries are: Austria, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand.
Experience or exploitation?
In recent years, there have been several cases where Taiwanese who stay abroad as part of a work-holiday program have been exploited.
The issue was highlighted in 2014 in a documentary that covered working-holiday visa holders working at a chicken farm in Australia. The majority of workers at the farm were Taiwanese backpackers who had to tolerate long hours, low pay and harassment. A year later, another documentary, “Slaving Away,” showed continued exploitation of Taiwanese workers.
Companies in Australia that were reportedly exploiting Taiwanese visa holders were not only limited to local companies, but also included international chains such as 85C; it was accused of paying Taiwanese workers much lower than others.
A case is underway in Australia after several houses in Queensland were found to be filled with Taiwanese nationals working as “slave callers” in a telephone scamming operation last year.
Nevertheless, the Taiwan government still maintains that traveling and staying abroad through the work-holiday program will provide tremendous benefits, including experience and interaction with different cultures.
Edited by Edward White