Cambodia suspends marriages to South Koreans
Fri, Mar 19, 2010

PHNOM PENH - Cambodia has suspended marriages between South Koreans and its citizens to curb human trafficking, the foreign ministry said Friday.

'We sent a note to the South Korean embassy on March 5 informing them about the temporary suspension in marriage applications between Cambodians and South Koreans,' ministry spokesman Koy Kuong told AFP.

The spokesman said the measure was taken after a Cambodian matchmaker was sentenced this month to 10 years in prison for bringing 25 women from the countryside in an attempt to broker marriages with South Korean men.

Authorities are reviewing procedures to combat human trafficking, Koy Kuong added.

South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Friday that the number of Cambodian women marrying Korean men had more than doubled, from 551 in 2008 to 1,372 last year.

In March 2008 Cambodia imposed a ban on foreign marriages to prevent human trafficking, amid concerns over an explosion in the number of brokered unions involving South Korean men and poor Cambodian women.

The ban followed an International Organisation for Migration report that said many Cambodian brides suffered abuse after moving to South Korea in marriages hastily arranged by brokers who made large profits.

The restriction was lifted about eight months later after new laws were introduced to prevent women becoming mail-order brides.



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