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VWU response to the situation of Vietnamese women getting married to foreigners through brokers
Posted: Apr 28,2006
One of VWU’s women and children anti-trafficking publications

Over recent days, the Vietnamese people and women inside and outside the country have been very poignant by the information about the situation of Vietnamese women getting married to foreigners from Taiwan, Malaysia, Korea, etc. Especially the article “Vietnamese Young Women Coming to Korea – A Land of Hope” published by the Korean Daily Chosun on Apr. 21 aroused people’s anger.

As an organization representing legal and legitimate rights and benefits of the Vietnamese women, VWU considers the article a violation of human rights and a serious humiliation of Vietnamese women’s dignity. VWU strongly opposes and criticizes the unjust, unconstructive, insensitive and irresponsible attitudes of the Chosun Daily and the Korean advertisements about Vietnamese brides. VWU requests the Chosun Daily to apologize to the women featured and portrayed in its printed and electronic versions, and to apologize to the Vietnamese women and people for its intended humiliation.


In the global integration context, marriage with foreigners has become normal and increasingly popular. However, besides voluntarily-based marriages, there are commercially-based ones in which women are cheated and used.


The trafficking of women and children in all forms, including foreign marriage broking, is emerging as a global symptom and an increasing trend of inter- and intra-national migration. Trafficking in women and children is viewed by the international community as a new kind of slavery, a blunt violation of human rights, forcing victims into prostitution, labour exploitation, and sexual relations through disguised marriages with foreigners.


Over recent years, the situation of Vietnamese women trafficked through foreign marriage broking develops with many complications. These women desire a better life while getting married to foreigners. But in fact, instead of a happy life in a strange land, many of them end up being harassed, beaten, humiliated and sexually exploited. VWU always considers trafficked women victims in need of protection and assistance, and all acts of illegal marriage broking as a violation of ethic codes and Vietnamese law that should be condemned and met with strict punishment.


For many years now, VWU has been a pioneer in preventing and combating trafficking in women and children, considering it a constant priority at all levels. Realizing the Government’s instructions and working with functional agencies, the Women’s Unions at all levels with local and international resources have been strongly communicating anti-trafficking issues through the mass media, training courses, conferences, workshops, communication campaigns at the hot spots and border areas; distributing anti-trafficking leaflets and handbooks; and conducting mobile courts, etc.


Between 1999 and 2005, the Women’s Union of all levels in addition to mass media communication has organized 526 training courses for 15,936 anti-trafficking volunteers; incorporated anti-trafficking and anti-criminal messages into 4,728 training courses; organized hundreds of communication campaigns in 162 districts of 30 provinces/cities throughout the country. Especially, the communications campaign held in the Vietnamese province of Quang Ninh and Chinese province of Dong Hung has created a strong anti-trafficking impetus among the border population. VWU has designed and distributed hundreds of thousands of leaflets and publications. Especially in 2005, pilot communication campaigns were carried out in 24 communes/wards of the 24 target provinces/cities with high incidence of trafficking and foreign marriage broking. Thanks to comprehensive measures, by the end of 2005, a 50% reduction of foreign marriages through broking has been reported in 8 communes in the 3 provinces of Tay Ninh, Hau Giang and Can Tho.


However, the situation is still complicated. VWU defines its responsibility to strengthen cooperation with functional agencies and make people and women deeply aware of the negatives of foreign marriage broking, increase poverty alleviation and job creation, support women in poverty and difficult situations, stabilizing their life in their native land. VWU and the women’s organization of the destination countries are to construct anti-trafficking cooperation mechanisms on the basis of respecting and protecting women’s and children’s legitimate rights and benefits.

Translated by VWU Int’l Relations Department - Nguyen Thi Kim Thuy – VWU Vice-president

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"... From the beginning of the first century A.D., when the two Trung Sisters rose up to fight the enemy and save the nation, until now, whenever our country has faced danger, our women have contributed whatever they could toward the cause of national liberation.

Our people are grateful that our mothers from South and North alike have borne and raised our nation's generation of heroes....

Under the Socialist system, tens of thousands of women have become specialists in different fields and, as cadre, serve as directors and vice-directors of factories, leaders of farming cooperatives, presidents of People’s Committees, and general secretaries of Party Cells....

And so, the women of Vietnam from ancient times until now, from South to North, from young to old, are truly heroes ..."

(Excerpted from President Ho Chi Minh's speech on the 36th Anniversary of Vietnam Women's Union 20 October 1966)

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