According to a Korea Times report, there are more women married to Korean men who engage in prostitution due to financial difficulties.
An increasing number of foreign women who come here to marry Korean men are running away from home and engaging in prostitution to earn “easy money,” creating a daunting task for the immigration authorities.
Substantial numbers of migrant wives decide not to live with their Korean husbands and their families, due to financial hardship among other reasons. They then try to stand on their own feet by normally working as helpers at restaurants or other low-paying places.
But some of them choose to sell sex in karaoke bars, massage parlors and other late-night entertainment establishments, lured by larger sums of money.
Several groups of migrant women over the past few weeks have been caught engaging in the sex trade, not only in Seoul and its adjacent cities but also in rural areas.
They are normally deported back to their home countries.
It is generally known that a lot of female immigrants from poor nations marry Korean men for financial reasons. It is quite risky since they usually don’t know the person they are marrying. Just because they live in a “richer” country doesn’t mean that these men are financially stable. There must be a reason why they look for and pay to marry a foreign woman. Lucky are those who could marry a husband who would treat them as a partner, a real wife. It is sad though that the statistics show otherwise with increasing divorce rates among multi-cultural marriages.
It is because of the death of Cathy Deocades, that the Philippine government is asking tighter screening on Korean grooms. Last year, the Korean government has introduced an International Marriage Guidance Program for Korean men who are planning to marry foreign women. It requires them to attend a four-hour mandatory lecture on international marriage.
While mail-order brides or match-making is illegal in the Philippines, it is no secret that it still goes on. The two-day CFO seminar and guidance counseling is quite useless in being a deterrent to the supposed illegal activity.
While marriage brokers and mail order bride agencies are allowed in Korea, the Philippines has a law prohibiting organizing or facilitating marriages between Filipino women and foreign men.
However, this has not stopped illegal marriage brokers from arranging marriages between Korean men and much younger Filipino women.
“Another way to address this is to require Korean men to undergo cultural orientation in the Philippines, so they can also learn about the culture,” Cruz said, adding this may lessen misunderstandings.
Fr. Alvin Parantar, head chaplain of the Hyehwa-dong Filipino Catholic community in Seoul, suggested temporarily suspending marriages between Korean men and Filipino women until stricter regulations are imposed. He also pushed the Philippine government to crack down on illegal marriage brokers.
Temporarily suspending marriages between Korean men and Filipino women would be unfair to those who are in a real relationship, even if it’s only a temporary ban. The government should ask the Korean Embassy to make the CFO certificate a mandatory requirement for F-2 visa applications. Likewise, the Philippine Embassy in Korea should also make that a requirement for marriage licenses applications in Korea. The Korean Embassy in the Philippines should not only require an interview of the Korean-Filipino couple but they should be asked to talk to each other in front of the consul. For how could they be in a real relationship if they couldn’t even communicate with each other?