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Govt suspends foreign marriages

Govt suspends foreign marriages

The government has suspended marriages between foreigners and Cambodians amid concerns over an explosion in the number of brokered unions involving poor, uneducated women, an official said April 3. The move follows an International Organization for Migration (IOM) report highlighting the plight of an increasing number of Cambodian brides migrating to South Korea in marriages hastily arranged by brokers who make large profits. Some 1,759 marriage visas were issued by South Korea in 2007, up from just 72 in 2004, the report said. While no systematic exploitation was uncovered, several cases of abuse did raise a red flag with the government, said You Ay, secretary of state with the Women's Affairs Ministry. "The government has temporarily suspended all (paperwork) for Cambodia women to marry foreigners," You Ay told AFP. She said the ban, which was approved the previous week, would be lifted after the government developed a legal framework to address mixed marriages. "This suspension is to prevent human trafficking through marriage… Cambodia is working to strengthen the laws on marriage," she said. (AFP)

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