Sunday, November 30, 2014

Phnom Penh Rob and Kill in Cambodia Robbery shot and kill a women

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Cambo-Viet Landmark

cột mốc Campuchia

More than 100 million Muslim in China

At least 15 people killed in this week in Xinjing, of China. China home to more than 100-120 million Muslim, according to source of USA. China, its self reports only 25-30 million of Muslim population.

(  An initiated vegetarian people who eat vegetable claim that only One God in this university. Non- vegetarian people claim of number of gods such : Buddha, Christ, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Alla, Hindu........We having difference God resulting in difference weaponry!)  

100 Million Muslims in China - Video Length 5 min 08 sec. 

Muslim population growth, Womens Involvement, History, Some chineese expert very short Interview. The estimates of China's Muslim population varies, with at least 27 Million taught to be Muslim. Conditions of Muslims worsened during cultural revolution. The goverment began to relax its policies toward muslimsin 1978. Today, Islam is experiencing a revival and there are now many mosques in china, depitesnew unjust pressure. The vast Majority of chinese muslims are sunni Muslim

Saturday, November 29, 2014

South Korea: A Thriving Sex Industry In A Powerful, Wealthy Super-State

South Korea, a wealthy, powerful Asian super-state, technology hub and stalwart U.S. ally, has a deep, dark secret. Prostitution and the sex trade flourish in South Korea just under the country’s shiny surface.
Despite its illegality, prostitution and the sex trade is so huge that the government once admitted it accounts for as much as 4 percent of South Korea’s annual gross domestic product -- about the size of the fishing and agriculture industries combined.
Indeed, paid sex is available all over South Korea -- in coffee shops, shopping malls, the barber shop, hotels, motels, as well as the so-called juicy bars, frequented by American soldiers, and the red-light districts, which operate openly. Internet chat rooms and cell phones have opened up whole new streams of business for ambitious prostitutes and pimps.
The South Korean government’s Ministry for Gender Equality estimates that about 500,000 women work in the national sex industry, though, according to the Korean Feminist Association, the actual number may exceed 1 million. If that estimate is closer to the truth, it would mean that 1 out of every 25 women in the country is selling her body for sex -- despite the passage of tough anti-sex-trafficking legislation in recent years. (For women between the ages of 15 and 29, up to one-fifth have worked in the sex industry at one time or another, according to estimates.)
Indeed, the sex industry (in the face of laws criminalizing and stigmatizing it) is so open that prostitutes periodically stage public protests to express their anger over anti-prostitution laws. Bizarrely, like Tibetan monks protesting China’s brutal rule of their homeland, some Korean prostitutes even set themselves on fire to promote their cause.
Naturally, demand is high.
According to the government-run Korean Institute of Criminology, one-fifth of men in their 20s buy sex at least four times a month, creating an endless customer base for prostitutes.
Even worse, child and teen prostitution are also prevalent in South Korea.
Al-Jazeera reported that some 200,000 South Korean youths run away from home annually, with many of them descending into the sex trade, according to a report by Seoul’s municipal government. A separate survey suggested that half of female runaways become prostitutes.
All these statistics fly in the face of South Korea’s stellar image as a society that consistently produces brilliant, hard-working, motivated students and technocrats. However, it is precisely that academic pressure (along with other family issues) that drives many of these teens onto the streets.
"No one ever told me it was wrong to prostitute myself, including my schoolteachers,” a runaway named Yu-ja told Al-Jazeera.
“I wish someone had told me. Girls should be taught that from an early age in class here in South Korea, but they aren't."
Not only is South Korea home to child and teen prostitution, but South Korean men are also driving such illicit trade in foreign countries, particularly in Southeast Asia, according to the Korean Institute of Criminology, based on surveys conducted in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines.
“If the testimony from many underage prostitutes, police officers and human rights groups is true, South Koreans are the biggest customers of the child sex industry in the region,” their report stated, reported the Korea Times newspaper.
“That’s very shameful for [South Korea].”
Yun Hee-jun, a Seoul-based anti-sex trafficker, told the Times: “On online community websites, you can easily find information about prices for sex with minors and the best places to go. If you visit any brothel in Vietnam or Cambodia, you can see …  fliers written in Korean.”
The U.S. State Department, in the 2008 “Trafficking in Persons Report,” also blamed South Korean tourists for significantly driving the demand for underage sex in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.
The document indicated that large numbers of South Korean girls and women have been trafficked to Japan, the U.S. and as far away as Western Europe.
On the flip side, many women from poorer Asian countries, particularly the Philippines, flock to South Korea to work as prostitutes and "bar girls" (lured by the promises of legitimate work as waitresses or entertainers).
For the record, the U.S. government prohibits American servicemen from patronizing bars and other establishments in South Korea served by prostitutes.
Blogger Park Je-Sun wrote on Threewisemonkeys that in Seoul, South Korea’s largest city, prostitution is widespread and peculiarly civilized -- and a central component of the local business culture.
“The majority of top-end -- that is, rich -- businessmen in Seoul are more familiar with sex-industry culture than in a number of other countries,” Park wrote.
“Sex and power are closely linked in this city.”
As an illustration of how widespread prostitution is in South Korea, consider that in January 2012 police raided a nine-story brothel in the upscale Gangnam neighborhood in Seoul and discovered no less than 100 prostitutes working there, ostensibly as "hostesses," who charged at least $300 for sex. This complex generated more than $200,000 every day, according to local media reports.
“It’s not uncommon for a hostess bar and a hotel to be located in the same building,” a policeman told the Korea Times.
In late 2006, the South Korean government took an unusual step to stamp out prostitution -- the Ministry for Gender Equality offered a cash incentive to companies whose male employees refrained from buying sex at office parties and business trips, an ingrained part of Korean corporate culture.
The prevalence of prostitution in contemporary South Korea provides an ironic counterpoint to the passionate political activism of elderly Korean women who relentlessly criticize Japan for forcing them into servitude as prostitutes and "comfort women" during Tokyo’s brutal occupation of their country.
Prostitution has a long history in South Korea, going back to the medieval period, when the “kisaeng,” female entertainers, were officially sanctioned by the ruling elite to perform all kinds of services, including sex.
Prostitution as a way of life continued in one form or another over the centuries, including during Japan’s occupation of Korea in the first half of the 20th century.
After World War II and the Korean War, the United States changed the face of prostitution.

Park Chung-hee, who ruled the country for most of the 1960s and 1970s, actually encouraged the sex trade in order to generate much-needed revenue, particularly at the expense of the thousands of U.S. troops stationed in the country.
“Our government was one big pimp for the U.S. military,” Kim Ae-ran, a former South Korean prostitute forced to work at an American military base, told the International Herald Tribune.
“They urged us to sell as much as possible to the G.I.’s, praising us as ‘dollar-earning patriots.'”
Another ex-prostitute lamented: “The more I think about my life, the more I think women like me were the biggest sacrifice for my country’s alliance with the Americans. Looking back, I think my body was not mine but the [South Korean] government’s and the U.S. military’s.”
In the 21st century, another source of prostitution comes from South Korea’s impoverished northern neighbor, North Korea.
Female defectors from North Korea – who typically reach South Korea after an arduous journey through a third country -- also sometimes descend into prostitution to survive.
Reportedly, many female North Korean defectors are forced into prostitution, not only to pay the exorbitant fees charged by people-smugglers, but to earn a living in South Korea -- sometimes this scenario leads to tragic consequences.
In March 2013, South Korean media reported on the case of a North Korean woman who was murdered while toiling as a sex worker in the city of Hwaseong, southwest of Seoul.
The killer, who turned himself in to police, confessed that he strangled the woman to death in a fit of anger when she refused to perform a “perverted” sex act. Compounding this tragedy of a desperate woman who fled repression and starvation in North Korea, it later emerged that her killer had no fewer than 16 previous convictions on his lengthy criminal record.
Now, in 2013, Korean courts are reportedly considering the constitutionality of the 2004 Special Law on Prostitution, which increased the penalties for both prostitution and pimping.
“It will be of great interest to see how the Special Law plays out in the courts and in the media,” wrote the blog,
“It’s a $13 billion a year reality … and it’s not going anywhere.”

Prostitution in South Korea

Prostitution in South Korea is illegal,[1] but according to The Korea Women's Development Institute, the sex trade in Korea was estimated to amount to 14 trillion South Korean won ($13 billion) in 2007, roughly 1.6 percent of the nation's gross domestic product.[2][3]

The number of prostitutes dropped by 18 percent to 269,000 during the same period. The sex trade involved some 94 million transactions in 2007, down from 170 million in 2002. The amount of money traded for prostitution was over 14 trillion won, much less than 24 trillion won in 2002.[2] Despite legal sanctions and police crackdowns, prostitution continues to flourish in S Korea, while sex workers continue to actively resist the state's activities. [4]

New rules regulate marriage-by-mail brokers, participants in South Korea

South Korea has put new restrictions on mixed-ethnicity marriages, but critics say it would be better to focus on supporting foreign spouses who struggle to assimilate in one of Asia's most ethnically homogenous societies.
An influx of foreign brides - overwhelmingly from other Asian countries - began in earnest in 2000 and peaked in 2005, when more than 30,000 were given resident-through-marriage visas.
The trend was triggered by the large numbers of young, rural women leaving to find work and a new life in Seoul and other South Korean cities, leaving behind male-dominated communities with not enough potential wives to go around.
Since 2000, 236,000 foreign women have settled in South Korea through marriage, giving birth to about 190,000 children.
About 80 per cent came from China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand and Mongolia - essentially "mail-ordered" through matchmaking brokers.
At first, South Korea did nothing to rein in marriage brokers, believing they were fulfilling a useful service helping to improve a radically declining birth rate and labour force in the countryside.
By 2010, however, there were increasing reports of young foreign wives being beaten and in some cases murdered.
The same year, a law was introduced providing two-year jail terms for any broker shown to have provided false information about potential spouses, or introduced more than two women to one man at the same time.
The number of broking agents plunged from 1,697 to 512 at the end of 2013.
The latest regulations require those applying for a resident-through-marriage visa to pass a language proficiency test, and for Korean partners to show they earn at least US$14,000 a year.

"Strong state intervention is inevitable to stop ineligible people from buying foreign brides," a Justice Ministry official said. "This is a diplomatic issue related to our national image."
But marriage brokers say the new rules will only raise the costs of finding a foreign bride by reducing the pool of potential matches.
It now costs about US$10,000 and the brokers say that could rise by as much as 50 per cent.
"The new law doesn't reflect reality," said Cho Sou-yong, a broker in Uijeongbu north of Seoul.
Most Asian brides come from poor rural families and Cho said the language requirement would require them to move to a city to take classes for several months - at their new husband's expense.
"The new regulations also require an additional load of notarised documentation, which will also cost the Korean partner," he added.
A couple must already be married for the woman to apply for a resident visa.
Cho insisted that the instances of abuse highlighted in the media were largely a thing of the past, and that professional brokers were now much more "sincere" in finding genuine matches for a "trouble-free marital life".

Marriage brokers for overseas brides under greater scrutiny

By Yun Suh-young

The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family said Wednesday it will implement stricter rules on interracial marriages brokered by matchmaking firms, mandating the companies to provide detailed personal information about Koreans looking for foreign spouses.

The measure comes amid concerns that many brokers have provided foreign women seeking to marry South Korean men with falsified records concerning the latter’s marital status, medical and criminal history.

Under the new rule, brokers of interracial marriages are required to have notarized documents from applicants, including any criminal and medical records.

The criminal records should include details of charges and convictions, and jail terms. Medical records have to be certified by a doctor.

Those opening a matchmaking agency are required to have capital of at least 100 million won. Also, information on such agencies must be posted on district, county, and city office websites.

Marriage brokers are banned from introducing partners who are under 18 years old and arranging group meetings.

Those who break the rules face up to 20 million won in fines or a maximum prison term of three years, according to the ministry.

Amid rising concerns over marriage practices between Korean men and foreign wives, especially from Southeast Asian countries, Vietnam has enacted strict measures to prohibit young Vietnamese women from marrying Korean men aged 50 or over.

Cambodia has also introduced tighter regulations, banning marriages between Cambodian women and Korean men over the age of 50 with a monthly income of less than $2,550.

The ministry said unregistered brokers are prohibited from putting up advertisements for interracial marriages.

“Inaccurate and unchecked information on marriage partners has contributed to the increase of divorces, desertions and physical assault cases among interracially married couples,” a ministry official said. “A mandatory release of personal information about partners adopted in 2010 has played a vital role in guaranteeing honest marriages.”

Since 2010, brokers have been obligated to reveal personal information, including past marriage records, health condition, job status, and criminal records, before an arrangement is made between a Korean man and a foreign woman. The number of interracial marriages decreased in 2011 to 22,265 from 26,274 in 2010

Vietnamese study to be 'perfect Korean wives'

'Wife classes’ take hold in Vietnam as South Korea addresses a surge in international marriages - and its problems.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - Written in Vietnamese, the text implores the new brides: "Keep in mind! Rice goes on the left, soup to the right when setting the table."
Complete with illustrations, these and other lessons from a South Korean government textbook make up courses offered throughout Vietnam for women preparing to join their husbands in the northeast Asian country.

The how-to-be-a-good-Korean-wife classes, sponsored by the South Korean government, are a product of high divorce rates among South Korean men and foreign wives, domestic violence, and family instability.
International marriages in South Korea have skyrocketed with 29,762 in 2011, compared with 4,710 in 1990,according to government-run Statistics Korea.
Kim Ki Young runs the Asia Cultural Exchange Foundation, a private Korean organisation that hosts the Korean wife classes in Ho Chi Minh City. The reality, Kim said, is that commercial brokers fly Korean men into Vietnam to meet women, and many tie the knot within a week.
"I think a lot of women come not only for economic opportunity, but they do come for marriage, they really do come for husbands who can love and support them."
- Minjeong Kim, sociologist
The South Korean government is concerned these marriages could breed greater social problems. So it is investing to increase these couples' success rates - hence the "orientation" classes. The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family contributes about US$100,000 for wife education, said Kim.
During a recent study session in Ho Chi Minh City, instructor Pham Que Nguyen covered everything from the prosaic to the paramount, from kim chi and snowy winters, to emergency numbers and dual citizenship. In breezy pedagogical style, she urged the 20 students to participate.
"If we don't have this foreigner ID card can we work?" she asked, standing near a South Korean map and gesturing towards a slideshow presentation.

"No," the young women replied, one after another.

As Nguyen moved to a whiteboard to translate Korean script into Vietnamese phonetics, the brides and brides-to-be followed along with language manuals. They took these home along with a "Guide to Korean Life".
The booklet is filled with photos of traditional clothing, instructions on the difference between Korean and Vietnamese child-rearing, tips to deal with in-laws, and a reminder that having a refrigerator doesn't mean one should keep food for more than a week.
'Healthier' marriages

At the South Korean Consulate here, there are three visa windows: one for marriage visas, flanked by two for general applications. The number of Vietnamese wives in South Korea has exploded in recent years, from 77 in 2000, to 7,636 in 2011 - by far the largest increase among any foreign group. Vietnam even beats China as the top wife-sending country.

A 2011 
research paper in the Current Sociology academic journal attributed this spike to decades of business ties between the countries, a strong international marriage industry, and "a high rate of female singlehood and the omnipresent social pressure on East Asian men to marry at any cost".

Minjeong Kim, an assistant professor in Virginia Tech's sociology department, said the prominent role of marriage brokers has led to the jump in Vietnamese women marrying South Korean men. But the trend is shifting with many Vietnamese wives now meeting Korean husbands through relatives.
"That means now the marriage is getting healthier," Kim Ki Young, the school's director, said in an interview at his office above the classroom.
Korean culture class in Ho Chi Minh City [Lien Hoang/Al Jazeera]
Tran Thanh Ha said she met her 38-year-old South Korean husband through family. She'll be reuniting with him if her visa request is granted. Ha, 19, is of typical age among Vietnamese marriage migrants.
Ha comes from Vinh Long, a province in the Mekong Delta, where the vast majority of Korean-Vietnamese matchmaking happens. She said she loves her partner and is excited to go to his homeland.
"Of course I'm scared, but my aunt lives there so I feel better," she said after accepting her course completion certificate.

With the money from South Korea's government, Kim's wife-teaching programme, which began in January, has instructed about 2,000 Vietnamese women for a one-day, eight-hour class. South Korean funding also finances a similar course in Hanoi, and a three-day version in Can Tho, in the Mekong Delta.

The education centres are becoming "the place to provide important information for a great number of marriage migrant women", Ko Si Hyun, consul of the South Korean Embassy in Hanoi, told Al Jazeera in an e-mail.

Domestic dangers
Divorce in international marriages continues to grow with 11,495 in 2011, compared with 1,694 in 2001, according to Statistics Korea. Some marriages crumble with Vietnamese women marrying for money only.    
Another factor is the large age gap between Vietnamese wives and South Korea husbands with an average 17 years' difference, according to researchers Daniele Belanger and Tran Giang Linh.
Hard figures on domestic violence in these unions are difficult to find, as the Korean National Police Agency and Statistics Korea were unable to provide numbers. However, there have been reports of South Korean men beating and killing their foreign wives in the past, as well as migrant wives committing suicide. 
Vo Thi Minh Phuong, 27, was married to a 47-year-old South Korean man for eight years before she asked for a divorce - a request he refused to grant. Phuong had told her family that her husband regularly beat her.
Last month in the port city of Busan, Phuong took her 7-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son up to the 18th floor of her apartment building, then jumped off with the children in her arms. She wasn't the first Vietnamese wife to commit suicide in South Korea.
Minjeong Kim said she hopes the wife-teaching programme will help to head off violence, but for wedded bliss she said it's not enough just to focus on language and logistics. There's also a culture of distrust and prejudice towards the incoming spouses.
"I think a lot of women come not only for economic opportunity, but they do come for marriage, they really do come for husbands who can love and support them," she said, based on her interviews with couples during a year of field research.

Women, for their part, fly to their new homes with flawed expectations, especially about their husbands' socioeconomic status. All of these problems point to incompatible pairings by marriage-brokering agencies that Kim called "very irresponsible".
Kim Ki Young at the culture school [Lien Hoang/Al Jazeera]
International marriages, however, have worked out for many couples in South Korea. Belanger and Linh have written that "marriage migration" has empowered Vietnamese women. Girls who once served their families have now become decision-makers thanks to the leverage granted to them by their marriages.
Belanger and Linh canvassed hundreds of Vietnamese in the Mekong Delta, including one family who said that "now since the daughter sends home a lot of money, everything must be approved by her and everybody in the family has to obey her".
While the status of Vietnamese women rises in their homeland, the South Korean government is also working to achieve the same in that country.
"The government is expanding migrant wives' social rights through these kinds of public programs," Kim said. "They are changing laws and policies to really accommodate migrant wives."

Here Comes The (Migrant) Bride: South Korea Offers Marriage Scholarships to Bachelors Worst-Off In Marriage Market

It may strike one as a curious fact that prostitution is illegal in South Korea yet Korean bachelors can apply for up to $8,600 in financial support from the government to assist them in buying a foreign wife.

According to Dr. Hyun Mee Kim, Chair of the Department of Cultural Anthropology at Yonsei University, 60 cities and local governments have recently implemented similar acts offering over a quarter of a million dollars worth of marriage scholarships to middle-aged bachelors in farming and fishing industries. The bulk of each “scholarship” is used to pay a broker fee and fund a 5-day marriage tour to a third world country in Asia or Eastern Europe where the bachelor selects his future wife, typically by way of finger pointing at a line-up.
Prior to the 1990s, South Korea enforced population control through the distribution of free birth control and other, more ethically murky, tactics such as guaranteeing low-interest housing loans for parents who agreed to undergo sterilization (502,000 South Koreans were sterilized in 1984, up 80,000 people from the previous year when governmental incentives were not available). Of course, there have long been numerous occurrences of state-imposed family planning programs, but in some cases the projects were too successful. Among those was South Korea, where a distorted sex ratio (there are 105 men to every 100 women) and low birth rate (one of the lowest in the world) resulted as long-term consequences.

As powerful as this one factor has been, however, the government’s plan to import foreign women was also a response to something quite different. The Asian Economic Crisis of 1997 galvanized Korean women into exodus with the aim of bettering their careers and avoiding joblessness and poverty. Many Korean women intended to temporarily migrate to build global capital, e.g. learn English, and then return to Korea. Korean women were further prompted by non-economic factors such as a desire to escape the oppressive cultural (read: patriarchal) environment of South Korea and break free of traditional roles based on their sex.

From 2000 onward, the concept of marriage for Korean women shifted to one more akin to mutual companionship. Time, however, did not erode the strength of conventional attitudes towards marriage throughout the rest of Korean society. Korean men, whose identity is forged in a culture of son favoritism, continued to be instilled with strong patriarchal notions of family framework. The Korean women who opted to temporarily venture abroad discovered less overtly male-dominant family relations in Westernized countries. Hence, many ended up staying overseas and the sex ratio squeeze in Korea worsened. To this day, more Korean women go abroad than men.

Based on the demographic trajectory created in part by these political, economic and cultural factors, South Korea’s population is expected to permanently plateau in the year 2023. 

The international marriage brokerage system is a government production, from scripting to editing. Facing a similar dilemma (extinction), Taiwan was first to develop a state-led matchmaking, or so-called “mail order bride”, system in the 1990s. Korea summarily followed suit by devising its own quick-fix strategy to import foreign ‘reproducers” as a means to boosting the country’s population. This nationalistic state-building plan was committed to paper as “The Getting Rural Bachelors Married Project” and first carried out by government-funded research associations that began to recruit rural bachelors for marriage tours to China. 

At its inception, the project targeted rural bachelors because countryside communities were at most risk of vanishing as residents flocked to urban centers in search of work; men who remained in the villages were considered undesirable in terms of marriage due to their poverty. Today, however, only 30% of men entering into international marriages come from rural areas, the remaining 70% are urban. This swap notwithstanding, 52% of these bachelors live under the national poverty line-- that is, half of the men who apply for wives are poor.
Be that as it may, international marriage broker agencies go to great lengths to deceive future wives into believing that their Korean husbands are wealthy and reputable businessmen. Indeed, the entire “matchmaking” process is mired in deception. Korean brokers (registered with the government) call in an order for, say, 100 women to their network in a given country. The local contact gathers up this order from its network of smaller contacts. The smaller contacts are typically guised as job placement agencies that recruit women to work in factories in Korea but then convince the women that getting the factory job is too difficult a process and it would be easier to marry a Korean man (in cases of marriage, Korean men pay the exorbitant agency and visa fees). The women are told that, once married, they can easily reclaim their skill levels in Korea and find high paying jobs. These promises are seductive because the women are extremely desperate. Consider, for example, that each Filipina woman who applies to these agencies is supporting an average of 8 to 10 family members and 60% of these women have children. If she is lucky enough to be employed in the Philippines, her daily earnings may be no more than $2 or $3. No doubt many women decide to take this chance as a last option for uprooting their families from poverty. 

The women are then made to stay for one month at a boarding house owned by the agency until Korean men arrive on the marriage tour. During the women's stay, some may be requested to undergo medical examinations to verify their virginity. If women want to back out of the process, they are told that they owe money for their time, shelter and food, at the house. Without the wherewithal to repay this debt, the women are trapped.

According to the Migrant Womens Human Rights Center, a non-governmental center for immigrant women, there are marriage tours every week. When the Korean men arrive, usually in groups of ten, the women are made to face them, standing in a lineup. Most men select the wife after this one meeting. Later that day, the women are taken on agency-arranged shopping sprees to upscale department stores. This is another ploy to dupe the women into believing that the men who have selected them are rich.
One day after "the selection", they get married. And after the wedding, the men go back to Korean allegedly to see to their businesses, while the women remain in their home countries to process their visas. The women are not allowed to return to their families and are made to work as domestic servants for the agency until they leave for Korea. The average price that Korean men pay for a foreign wife is $10,000 to $15,000 – Chinese woman being the cheapest and women from the former Eastern Bloc, the most expensive. Broker agencies pocket $4,000 to $10,000 per woman.

The rankest example of deception is the effort agencies undertake to conceal personal information about the women’s future husbands. In Korea a larger percentage of disabled men marry migrant women than marry Korean women. Many of the Korean bachelors who apply for international marriages are physically and mentally disabled, some with mental faculties so low that they cannot live independently. Foreign women are often used by these men’s families as caretakers, relieving families of sons with low intelligence levels or severe physical handicaps. One Cambodian woman got into a marriage with a seriously mentally ill man and so wanted out. But her husband’s father, had paid $9,000 for her and demanded his money back from the agency. Forced to reimburse their dissatisfied customer, the agency asked the woman to marry a second guy to make up for the money they had lost.

To cover up the backgrounds of their clients, agencies often claim that a man is “just a quiet guy” or that his behavior is a result of the couple not speaking a common language.The problem, however, has become so titanic that Vietman now rigorously screens Korean men trying to apply for marriages to Vietnamese women. Vietnam requires Korean bachelors to undergo a series of verbal psychological interviews after numerous complaints from women who had been married off to husbands who were mentally retarded. 

"Nine out of the ten men who came when we were matched had physical disabilities. One was even in a wheelchair," a Filipina marriage migrant recounted. Another famous, although typical, example involves a Filipina woman who was told that her 55-year-old husband was an executive at Samsung. Promised by her husband (via the agency) that she would be able to remit $300 a month to her family in the Philippines, she later learned that he had only finished the third grade, was unemployed, and still living with his mother. She was not allowed to send money back to her own family even though she earned it independently, doing sundry work when available.
As run-of-the-mill broker activities---coercion, false promises of escape from poverty, lies about the husband’s background--- become known, supplier countries are beginning to take measures to regulate marriages to Korean men. During the course of my research, one headline across The Korean Herald proclaimed that Cambodians were officially banned from marrying Koreans.

In the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children trafficking is defined as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation".
The Protocol also notes that, “Victims often consent to their initial recruitment based on deception or misinformation about…what will happen when they arrive. The reality is that any initial consent is usually rendered meaningless, if not by the initial deception, then by use of forces or other coercive or abusive conduct…”. Under this most-widely accepted definition, it would not be wrong to regard marriage migrants in Korea as victims of trafficking.

Marriage migrants are not treated as individuals. To apply for residency in Korea and the renewal of their alien certificates, women must be accompanied by their husbands – women cannot file for extensions if they are alone. Adding to their frail legal status, women must renew their visas every year and must obtain a “fidelity guarantee” to ensure that they are faithful to their Korean husbands. Not surprisingly, husbands are not made to sign any such guarantee.

Dual citizenship is illegal in Korea, meaning that women must relinquish their own nationality to obtain permanent legal status. It is no wonder that many women consider this decision almost impossible to make. “Women cry a lot because if they have property in their homeland they will lose it if they give up their native citizenship,” said Young Sug Heo, Representative of the Women Migrants Human Rights Center, “Plus, they won’t be able to go back home (as citizens) when their husbands die or divorce them.”

And it is not all that unlikely that their husbands will expire ahead of them. The de facto average age difference between Korean husband and foreign-born wife is 15 years. Most if not all of the women counseled at the Women Migrants Human Rights Center are married to men who are 25 years older than them. One former client was only 18-years-old and her husband is 65. To say that age disparity causes the older husband look down on his partner because she is younger would be a gross understatement. The younger wife is treated and thought of as a child. Women are disciplined to recoil at the lifting of their husband’s hand. They are often forbidden from leaving the house, interacting with other wives or even calling their families back home.

As important, is the racist component at play. Some women are forced to get abortions because their husbands do not want a “mixed blood” child. Add to this racism, the foreign-born wife’s inability to speak Korean. It takes an average of four years for marriage migrants to learn Korean, during which they are reproached for being “lazy” and “stubborn”. Until the woman gains fluency, couples communicate through hand gestures and body language. “In couples who [are] not able to communicate verbally, their husbands seem more likely to resort to beatings to express displeasure and frustrations” reported an intern at Durebang, counseling center and shelter for trafficked women.
Drum roll please for the damage control. In a jarring break with the past, the Korean government, which had hitherto used the racist terminology of “mixed blood” in reference to biracial Koreans (note: all Korean men are required to enlist at age eighteen but are prohibited if they look “mixed blood”), began to publicly promote “the multicultural family”. This sunshiny about-face redirected public attention from the broker-involved trafficking of foreign brides to the forward-thinking process of social integration of foreigners into an ethnocentric Korean society.

For the Korean government, “multiculturalism” is not about promoting equality but about promoting inclusiveness. There is to be no mutual coexistence of cultures but rather the absorption of the wife’s culture into a dominant Korean. The husband’s family puts pressure on the foreign-born wife to not pass on her mother tongue to their children and the government supports this atmosphere. In media representations, migrant women have become a symbol Korean inclusion. The women are considered culturally inferior so there is a general feeling of sympathy towards them.

During my stay in Korea, I ran across several “inside-the-lives-of” news segments featuring Korean husbands and their foreign-born wives. The programs carried a nationalistic air and seemed to be saying that Korean culture can incorporate – swallow – foreignness. Most of them showcased the migrant wife’s almost unbelievable rapidity in picking up Korean ways of cooking and childrearing (and throwing away her own culture). One 30-minute segment followed a “multicultural” family’s goings-on over the course of one week: the wife staying up until the wee hours of the night to chat with her family in Moldova, reading recipe books in Korean, and preparing kimchi and other Korean national dishes while her husband watched on. Despite the week’s diverse footage, the woman had her apron on the entire taping. She and her teenage son from a previous marriage communicated only in Korean; she and her husband did not directly address each other once. 

What these late-night exposes fail to mention is that 100% of the marriage migrants interviewed in any given report published about them claim that they are physically abused, often on a daily basis, by their Korean husbands and in-laws. The much-publicized picture of the idyllic marriage between Korean men and foreign-born wives has proven to be demonstrably false. Many women are raped by their Korean husbands: the men wanted a sex slave not a nuclear family. In interviews with Durebang, Filipina marriage migrants said they are “treated like animals in bed”. Having spent their or their family’s life savings on broker fees, men feel entitled to do whatever they want with their new wives – including sexually assaulting them. Women report that their Korean husbands treat sex as a tension release, not a moment of intimacy.

The rate of divorce among mixed race couples is just as high as divorce rates between Korean nationalsHowever, once migrant women are divorced they lose their legal status. Their names are erased from the family registry of their husbands thus making them undocumented. Since last year, there has been a crackdown on undocumented migrants so now the trend is to deport women who are divorced from their Korean spouses. The government promptly expels any woman who fails to live in submission to her Korean husband and reproduce Korean babies.

Because the International Marriage Broker Regulation law in Korea is based on consumer law (it protects the men), 72.9% of government-registered agencies offer warranties. The warranties are no different than a warranty on a stereo from Best Buy. If a foreign wife initiates divorce within the first 6-months to one year, the agency will replace her at no extra charge. 

By any reckoning, the collusion between the government and these agencies is beginning to pay off despite the gross abuses occurring within the marriages. There are now 150,000 female marriage migrants in South Korea. Experts predict that by 2020, 20% of the total number of households in Korea will be made up of families created by the international marriage brokerage system, that is, households with migrant women who have come to Korea through international marriage.

The ethnic breakdown of Korea’s marriage migrants is as follows: 55% Chinese or Han Korean, 25% Vietnamese, 15% Filipina, Japanese or Cambodian, and 5% are from former Soviet satellites (e.g., Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan). Unlike other groups, the percentage of Filipina marriage migrants has always hovered at around the same number. The number of Vietnamese women, however, has skyrocketed in recent years jumping from only 100 in 2000 to 10,000 in 2006. Within these same years, the overall number of marriages between Korean men and foreign women tripled. There are also now 20,000 undocumented children of marriage migrants who have fled their marriages; these children are not registered with their own governments or the government of South Korea and have no birth certificates. 

It is time to sound a clarion call for dignity and freedom for women forced to perform emotional and sexual labor under the guise of marriage. The international marriage brokerage system is nothing less than the wholesale prostitution of women. Of men taking personal advantage of an inherently unequal capitalist system.