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Peter Nguyen Van Hung

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Peter Nguyen Van Hung on Ketagalan Boulevard

Father Peter Nguyen Van Hung (chữ Hán: 阮文雄; born 1958) is a Vietnamese Australian Catholic priest and human rights activist in Taiwan.[1] He was recognised by the United States Department of State as a "hero acting to end modern day slavery".[2][3][4]

Early life

Peter Nguyen Van Hung grew up in a lower-middle-class family outside of Bình Tuy Province, with two brothers and five sisters; his father was a fisherman, but died after a long battle with illness, forcing his mother, a devout Catholic with roots in the country's north, to become the family's main breadwinner. Peter Nguyen Van Hung himself absorbed his mother's faith and devotion.He was an admirer of Saint Francis of Assisi, and reportedly stole food from his own family to feed to the poor.

He left Vietnam in 1979 on an overcrowded boat; rescued by a Norwegian after just 36 hours and taken to Japan, he joined the Missionary Society of St. Columban upon his arrival.[5]

He lived in Japan for three years, studying and taking a variety of jobs to support himself, including as a highway repairman, steel factory worker, and gravedigger.[6] He first came to Taiwan in 1988 as a missionary, after which he went to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, to study at a seminary. He was ordained in 1991[3][5] and returned to Taiwan the following year (in 1992).

Work in Taiwan

Peter Nguyen Van Hung established the Vietnamese Migrant Workers and Brides Office in Taoyuan County (now Taoyuan City) in 2004 to offer assistance to Vietnamese immigrants in Taiwan. Vietnamese American radio station Little Saigon Radio and others helped him to rent the second floor of a grammar school; two seventy square foot rooms offer sleeping space, while two others are used for office space.[7] They provide Mandarin classes, room and board, and legal assistance.

Peter Nguyen Van Hung's exposure of abuses against foreign labourers and brides led the U.S. State Department to list Taiwan as a "Tier 2" region alongside countries such as Cambodia due to their lack of effort in combating human trafficking, which proved a major international embarrassment for the island's government. His work has also made him the target of intimidation in Taiwan.[5][8]

See also


  1. ^ Helen Schwenken Domestic Workers Count: Global Data on an Often Invisible Sector 2011 "..Fr. Peter Nguyen (Hsinchu Diocese, Taiwan), ..."
  2. ^ "III. Heroes Acting To End Modern Day Slavery". Trafficking in Persons Report. Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, United States Department of State. 2006-06-05. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  3. ^ a b Fan, Wen-pin (2005-08-15). "外籍神父博愛無私 為外勞及外籍新娘點燃希望之光 ("Foreign priests' selfless love - lighting the spark of hope for foreign workers and brides")". Eastern Television News (in Chinese). Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  4. ^ "Mời Dự Buổi Nói Chuyện Của Linh Mục Nguyễn Văn Hùng". Việt Báo (in Vietnamese). 2007-04-16. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  5. ^ a b c Brownlow, Ron (2006-10-01). "Where there's darkness". Taipei Times. p. 18. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  6. ^ Lan, Yuen-chin (2004–2005). "照亮越南勞工的心靈燈塔-阮文雄神父 ("A beacon of light for Vietnamese workers: Father Nguyễn Văn Hùng")". Legal Aid Foundation News. Taiwan. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  7. ^ Van, Giang (2005-12-03). "Vietnamese Trafficking Victims Suffer Abuses in Taiwan". Little Saigon Radio. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  8. ^ 老闆一家睡工廠 難怪苛外勞. United Daily News (in Chinese). 2007-12-18. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 

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