Information Campaign Targets Migrant Brides
IOM has launched a pre-departure information and awareness raising
campaign for the thousands of Vietnamese women who marry Korean
husbands each year, often through a broker-arranged process.
The campaign, which will be carried out in coordination with the
Viet Nam Women's Union and funded by the Korean Ministry of Gender
Equality and Family, will be conducted in two rural provinces of
Viet Nam, as well as in Ho Chi Minh City.
It will include two marriage-migration fairs, a two-day training
session for counsellors from the Women's Union and Justice
Department working with migrant brides, and a website at "http://www.vovietchonghan.org">www.vovietchonghan.org.
The campaign will provide prospective brides with pre-departure
information through media including a free telephone hotline, as
well as information about consular and other support services
available in Korea.
Research shows that while many cross-cultural marriages arranged
by brokers between Vietnamese women and Korean men are successful,
a significant percentage of the women can find themselves in
unhappy or abusive situations.
Husbands-to-be are typically much older than their prospective
brides, come from rural or industrial areas, are low income earners
and find it difficult to find a spouse in Korea.
Many come to Viet Nam on four- to six-day marriage tours costing
between USD 3,000 to USD15,000 and on arrival are taken to hotels
to select a bride from as many as 100 candidates. After getting
married, they immediately return to Korea with their
The women usually come from rural areas and have little, if any,
formal education. On average, they are 21 years of age and
take part in the broker-arranged marriage process either by choice
or under pressure from their families.
"Difficulties in communication, cultural clashes, poverty,
social prejudice, discrimination and misguided and inflated
expectations can be a real problem for couples who usually know
nothing about each other or their respective countries," says IOM
Ho Chi Minh Head of Office, Patrick Corcoran.
In some cases, physical abuse may occur, which the Korean
Ministry of Health reports exists in up to 14 per cent of brokered
Brokered marriages, mainly between women from the southern
Mekong region and men from Taiwan, became popular in the mid-1990s.
More recently the practice has shifted to other countries in the
region, including Korea, which has emerged as a major
Figures for Vietnamese marriages to Koreans have jumped
dramatically in recent years. In 2001 there were just 130 marriage
visas issued at the Korean Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City,
while in 2006, more than 8,500 were issued. This year, the figure
is expected to be well above 10,000 as more than 1,000 visas are
being issued each month
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