「在越南時，我以為歐洲是粉色的，但結果其實是黑色。」這是這起英國貨櫃屍案罹難者Nhung在德國柏林寫下的文字，童話故事原來只是虛幻的泡沫，夢想破滅的同時更賠上了生命。在指責失聯移工和偷渡移民之餘，別忘了非法仲介、人蛇集團和違法雇主才是始作俑者，沒有需要就沒有地下黑工和販運 ! 人權立國不是政治口號更不是崇高理想，而是讓一同生活在這片可愛的土地上的大家，彼此多一點同理，少一點指責，多一分關心，少一分歧視，我們伸出手的一小步，都是維護生命價值的一大步，一起關懷吧～shall we!
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Thirty-nine Bodies Suffocated in Despair in a Refrigerated Container Truck: The Lament of The Smuggled Migrant Workers
Recently a total of 39 suspected stowaways froze to death in a container truck in Britain. This case, which shocked the world, was first reported by British media that all the dead were of Chinese nationality. Later, some of the dead were believed to be Vietnamese, and some Vietnamese family members also came toward to identify that the bodies in the ice coffin could be their relatives who wanted to "emigrate to Britain." Not until these two days was it almost certain that the dead were all Vietnamese.
Relatives and friends said that the victims had left farewell messages on their phones before their death, take the 26-yeard-old lady, Fan Chia-Mei, for instance, “ Mom, I feel so sorry. I failed in my attempt to go abroad. Mom, I love you so really much. I'm going to die because I can't breathe. I come from yuan town, Ganlu City, Ha Tinh Province, Vietnam. I'm sorry, mom.”
No matter what nationality they were, the most important thing is to discuss what was the impetus that made them willing to cross the ocean, to go to a foreign country by illegal means, as well as the hardships and obstacles behind illegal smuggling. Most of the dead were from Vietnam's Ha Tinh and Ngai 'an provinces, which are two of the country's poorest provinces. Almost everyone there knew someone who had made the immigration to Europe, where they regarded as dreamy pink bubbles. Working illegally there allowed them to earn salaries they would have never earned back home, and although the long trip was expensive and dangerous, it was worth the risk in order to have a better life and more hope.
With the false propaganda of the human smuggling group and the successful cases of relatives and friends who used to work abroad, the migrants dreamed of coming to Britain and enjoying a salary of over 100,000 dollars a month. Even though they had to take out huge loans, mortgage their houses or borrow money from friends and relatives, many were still willing to pay the high fees so as to successfully smuggle. However, they lacked awareness of the realities of working in Europe. They came from poor countries with relatively little education and ability, which left them with only low-paid jobs even if they got jobs through legal means or went to what they called “the golden country.” Some of them were exploited, forced to grow marijuana illegally, engaged in prostitution, or even died in a foreign land before enjoying the sweetness of the result, as in this case.
From the perspective of serving migrant workers, smuggling is not an individual aspiration, but the only affordable option in a desperate situation. Scholars have pointed out that this is not only a personal choice, but also an international push and pull. Unable to secure adequate financial support at homeland or legal access to work overseas, they risk being smuggled across the border. Smuggling jobs are sugar-coated with high salaries: first of all, migrant workers must face problems such as language barrier, acculturation and medical difficulties. Furthermore, there’s no reasonable treaty for illegal job. When they encounter problems, they can only be arbitrarily exploited by intermediaries, and their rights and interests such as salary and work safety cannot be guaranteed.
Over the years, most of the discussions about the missing migrant workers in Taiwan have focused on the statement that the migrant workers want to make more money or that it is wrong for them to lose contact with the migrant workers, or even claimed that they are dangerous people who are easy to commit crimes. Take a step back, if it is without labor exploitation, who wants to take the risk of being arrested and repatriated? If they were not pushed to the limit of poverty, who would leave home to work at the bottom of the heap?
“In Vietnam, I thought Europe would be pink（shiny and bright）, but it turned out to be black（dark）.” These are the words written by Nhung, the victim of the British container death, in Berlin, Germany. Fairy tales turned out to be illusionary bubbles, their dream disillusioned and vanished into the air. At the meantime, they also lost their lives. While blaming the missing migrant workers and illegal migrants, do not ignore the fact that illegal agencies, human traffickers and illegal employers are whom to blame. If migrant workers are not suffered from their desperate situations, there will be no illegal working opportunities and human trafficking! Human right is neither a political slogan nor a lofty ideal, but it is what let us who live together on this lovely land to empathy more, blame less, care for each other more and discriminate less. A small step we stretch out is actually a giant step to maintain the value of life. So give a little more care, shall we!