Nick Aspinwall

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Nick Aspinwall is a journalist based in Taipei and an editor-at-large for The News Lens. He has also written for The Diplomat, SupChina and New Naratif, among others. When he’s not reporting, he can be found on a diving boat or perhaps stranded deep within a remote mountain range.

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2018/07/25 | Nick Aspinwall

Fishery Protests Kick Off Human Trafficking Prevention Conference

A Taiwanese vessel docked in South Africa recently became the first to ever be detained under a new UN convention preventing labor abuse at sea. In Taipei, advocates are fed up.

2018/07/24 | Nick Aspinwall

Ignored in Duterte's SONA, Mindanao's Lumads Vow to Defend Ancestral Lands

Ignored by President Duterte in his State of the Nation Address, Mindanao's Lumads continue to feel victimized by martial law, extrajudicial killings, and forced displacement, but will not stop defending their ancestral lands.

2018/07/14 | Nick Aspinwall

Sculpture Honoring Chinese Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo Unveiled in Taipei

One year after his death in captivity, the Nobel laureate and prominent Chinese dissident was commemorated in a small gathering near Taipei 101.

2018/07/11 | Nick Aspinwall

Taiwan Spared Major Damage by Typhoon Maria

Labeled a Category 5 storm as recently as yesterday, Typhoon Maria weakened and turned north, relieving Taiwan of any major harm.

2018/06/30 | Nick Aspinwall

Taiwan's New Southbound Push Risks Duterte Drug War Complicity

A Filipino fugitive awaits deportation in Taipei on drug charges, illustrating how the Tsai administration's New Southbound Policy’s fails to consider human rights.

2018/06/01 | Nick Aspinwall

Abused by Employer, an Indonesian Fisherman Appeals to Taiwan's Parliament

An Indonesian fisherman complained of being given the cold shoulder by the local labor office despite several complaints of abuse.

2018/05/29 | Nick Aspinwall

How Taiwan’s Seafood Sector Can Steer Toward Ethical Labor Standards

Simple measures can make a world of difference to the lives of thousands of workers aboard Taiwan's deep-sea fishing fleet.

2018/05/28 | Nick Aspinwall

Taiwan Seafood Trader FCF Faces Financial Pressure on Links to Rights Abuses

The market could force reluctant Taiwanese seafood traders to address concerns over complicity in human rights abuses.

2018/05/24 | Nick Aspinwall

Welcome to Taiwan: Beatings, Bodies Dumped at Sea and a Culture of Maritime Abuse

Amid the release of a Greenpeace report chronicling cases of physical abuse and financial exploitation of migrant workers in Taiwan’s fishing industry, The News Lens reveals the commonplace practice of dumping bodies of deceased migrant fishermen at sea.

2018/05/21 | Nick Aspinwall

Stabbed Indonesian Fisherman Thrown Overboard Taiwanese Ship Remains Missing

The incident highlights problems aboard Taiwan's distant water fishing vessels, which NGOs say operate in an unregulated, lawless environment.

2018/05/04 | Nick Aspinwall

Taiwan Protests Ignite Calls for Centralized Labor, Fire Safety Regulations

In the aftermath of Saturday’s Chin Poon fire, workers’ rights and firefighter’s groups are demanding a streamlined approach to safety at industrial sites – and are calling on Taiwan’s Ministry of Labor to step up.

2018/04/27 | Nick Aspinwall

Taiwan Labor Ministry's Brokerage Evaluation Sparks Concern

The labor agency's yearly assessment of migrant worker broker firms is underway, but a recent protest has renewed sentiments that the brokerage system is unethical by design.

2018/04/04 | Nick Aspinwall

Can Taiwan’s Forestry Bureau Reform the Timber Supply Chain?

New initiatives such as a proposed DNA database to identify illegally harvested wood show promise, but questions remain as to whether the government is doing enough at the point of sale.

2018/04/03 | Nick Aspinwall

Lost at Sea? Taiwanese Fishery Regulation Faces Continued Scrutiny

As Taiwan’s fishing industry awaits a critical EU decision, nonprofits and NGOs call for assistance for migrant workers and improvements in deep sea regulation.

2018/03/12 | Nick Aspinwall

Dancing to Break the Chain: Taiwan’s Foreign Caregivers Protest Sexual Abuse, Labor Standards

Migrant domestic workers gathered in Taipei Main Station on Sunday afternoon to fight for recognition under the Labor Standards Act, the abolition of the brokerage system, and an end to sexual harassment

2018/02/03 | Nick Aspinwall

Contraband for Sale: How Poachers Supply Sanyi's Thriving Wood Art Market

In this Miaoli County woodcarving mecca, there’s a consistent demand for sculptures made from the wood of endangered trees. Government crackdowns on poachers have only fueled the market.

2018/01/15 | Nick Aspinwall

Homelessness, Debt, Lost Memories: Hongmaogang's Cautionary Tale

The people of Hongmaogang have faced numerous challenges since their village was relocated in 2007. Now, residents work to keep their homeland's spirit alive - and warn their threatened neighbors in Dalinpu of what lies ahead.