The Rerum Novarum Centre is a non-governmental organisation founded by the Taiwan Jesuits in 1971 to help labourers at risk through advocacy, research and publication. During the 1990s more than 300,000 foreigners came to Taiwan, mainly from Thailand and the Philippines, to work. Their employers often mistreat them. Among the dozen typical violations, the most frequent are the exorbitant fees charged by private brokers or employment agencies. Other problems include racial discrimination, unfair wages and sexual harassment. Foreign workers who become pregnant may legally be repatriated immediately.
On the UN’s International Migrant’s Day (18 December 2000), the Rerum Novarum strongly urged the Taiwan Government to improve living conditions for foreign workers, to set up shelters and establish a channel for complaints.