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Allison Lee

, Class of 2017

Allison Lee

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Allison Lee is a co-founder and the Secretary General of the Yilan Migrant Fishermen Union, Taiwan’s first labor union composed of and led by foreign workers, and is a leading voice in demanding stronger protections for fishing crew members and accountability for human traffickers. Ms. Lee spearheaded the establishment of the union after working for 16 years for Taiwan NGOs focused on labor rights issues and handling labor disputes for four years at the municipal level as an employee of Taipei’s Labor Affairs Bureau.

Since founding the Yilan Migrant Fishermen Union in 2013, Ms. Lee has advocated for the rights of foreign fishermen working on Taiwan-flagged vessels and documented hundreds of accounts of exploitation, abuse, and underpayment.  By serving as a voice for these often unseen and unheard foreign fishing crew members, Ms. Lee has raised international and domestic awareness of exploitative working conditions, including instances of forced labor.  In one case, she successfully pushed to reopen an investigation into the death of an Indonesian fisherman on a Taiwan-flagged vessel. 


Ms. Lee and her advocacy partners drive change from the grassroots level through sustained pressure on officials and direct engagement with under-represented communities, including victims of human trafficking.  She continues to engage local labor bureaus, fisheries associations, and law enforcement to seek justice and compensation for crew members who are exploited at the hands of their employers and labor brokers.

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