Fake and deceitful marriage and marriage with foreigners
By Sun Narin
A number of Cambodian women decided to marry foreign guys in the hope of living abroad with good living condition and happy life and job over there. On the contrary, their wish turns into the evil since they are cheated, exploited, mistreated by foreign men and inconvenient living abroad comparing to living in their native country.
The Phnom Penh Post newspaper published one article on January 13, 2011 regarding a 24-year-old Kandal provincial woman, Aven, who agreed to fake a marriage to a Taiwanese broker and moved abroad some five years ago because she thought it would enable her to earn enough money to support her family in the province. Unfortunately, she was sold and exploited in Taiwan after she agreed to marry a Taiwanese man. She is as quoted in the Post that, “I was sold to work with a vegetable company there. I was forced to work the whole day without rest or pay.”
According to Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center (CWCC), it has estimated that more than 5,000 Cambodian women have been trafficked to Taiwan through fake marriages “over the past few years”.
The International Organization for Migration warned about networks of brokers or matchmaking businesses that had been arranging “fake, deceitful” marriages to bring Cambodian women to foreign places like Taiwan or South Korea to work as housemaids or prostitutes.
In October 2010, South Korean Ambassador said that 2,900 Cambodian wives of South Korean men were living in his country. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are from 50 to 70 marriage pairs on average of foreign men and Cambodian women per month.
The lack of local jobs leads Cambodian women to marry and work abroad so that they can send remittance to the family living in the countryside. Most girls are convinced by the brokers. Due to the fact that they are uneducated and poor, so they are easily cheated.
NGO Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility, CARAM Cambodia’s executive director Ya Navuth was quoted in January that, “Noting that rising unemployment levels could also exacerbate the problem. “I think that if the government can create more job opportunities for people in Cambodia, less people will be looking for solutions abroad.”
Recently, the Cambodia’s government has announced new regulations for marriages between Cambodian women and foreign men, stipulating that prospective husbands must be younger than 50 years old and earn more than US$2,550 per month in order to ensure that Cambodian women proper couples and enjoy a decent standard of living and were not victimized by labor trafficking.
The government last year introduced new screening mechanisms requiring that foreigners looking to marry Cambodians appear in person to submit applications to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Interior Ministry and the offices of local authorities.
I think the local authority plays an important role in checking the issue since most Cambodian women who marry foreigners are living in the countryside. Therefore, the authority has to examine and strictly enforce marriage certificate so that fake marriage will not happen.
One more thing, the government should always take woman’s situation into account though they are abroad by keeping contact with them or have the team to check with them, making sure that they are safe and in good living condition.