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Vietnamese brides in S.Korea protected by strict laws: S.Korean diplomat

By Viet Anh   September 6, 2018 | 08:26 pm PT
Vietnamese brides in S.Korea protected by strict laws: S.Korean diplomat
Vietnamese women attend a Korean class at the Women Migrants Human Rights Center in Seoul, South Korea. Photo by Reuters/Jo Yong-Hak
Vietnam has overtaken China as the country with the largest number of foreign brides in S.Korea, according to the S.Korean Embassy in Hanoi.

"In the last few years around 6,000 Vietnamese women got married to South Koreans every year,” Lee Mi-yon, minister at the embassy, told VnExpress recently.

"Since 2015, Vietnamese brides have accounted for the largest number of foreign brides in South Korea."

In general the number of Vietnamese women marrying South Korean men has been increasing by around 20 percent per year, while the number of Chinese brides, who used to make up the biggest number, has been declining.

Asked about the protection of Vietnamese brides' rights and interests, Lee said South Korea has strict laws on marriage brokering and appropriate punishments for violations. These organizations are required to meet certain criteria and provide accurate information to men seeking foreign brides, while Vietnamese women must also provide accurate information about themselves before moving to South Korea.

In Vietnam, only organizations under the Women's Union are allowed to broker marriages, and any Korean entity found doing this in Vietnam would be reported to South Korean authorities and punished.

"We are always trying to minimize risks to Vietnamese brides, so it is our responsibility to review and prevent illegal activities from taking place," Lee said.

In Hanoi, to help Vietnamese brides enjoy a good life in South Korea, there are nongovernmental organizations that provide Korean language lessons and information about South Korean culture, society and legal aid.

Vietnamese brides already in South Korea could learn about South Korean culture and how to handle marriage problems by seeking help from the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family's service centers.

Asked about the number of Vietnamese applying for regular visas to South Korea, Lee said in the last three years the number has tripled to over 100,000. The number of student visa applications has increased by over 700 percent from 1,700 to 14,400, she said.

Vietnamese women, many from poor rural families, have for long been marrying South Korean men hoping for a better life in the more developed nation.

However, it is not always a fairytale ending for them though the number of suicides and fatal beatings have fallen in recent years.

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