Mail-Order Brides – A Form of Human Trafficking?

January 21, 2021 Adam Lyons

The definition of the term “mail order brides” has a rather extensive description of specifics. If you want to search for what is mail-order marriage statistics, use the search engine.

The advent of the Internet succeeding in the mail-order bride delivery industry. Moreover, it has sparked a surge in demand. This business supply for women making it easier for any international marriage broker to get closer to most people. This simplifies the sales process as such brokers do not consider the importance of using marriage catalogs.

The owners of mail-order bride agencies constantly update pages more frequently and much faster, while users stay anonymous. Moreover, their communications with mail-order brides are confidential. The Internet has become not only great marketing and advertising tool. This is also a piece of linguistic and visual evidence where agencies can publish high-quality images with minimal effort. Thought such a business thriving, it’s important to talk about the relation between mail order bride abuse and human trafficking as well.

Charming young couple in cozy white home clothes poses in a room

What is International Women Trafficking?

International trafficking is characterized as a condition where innocent women or girls cannot change their immediate conditions of existence. Often this powerlessness to change one’s position is combined with sexual exploitation and abuse.

A variety of international marriage brokers act as traffickers, offering submissive mail order brides a viable path forward.

In addition, international marriage organizations have been associated with trafficking persons in certain ways. The following organizations could be nothing more than a cover for criminal organizations involved in trafficking women.

In this case, adult ladies and young girls are known to the public as brides. Most of them can be sold alone for prostitution or forced into marriage, including marriages with men who engage in prostitution. They may be held in domestic bondage. This is one of the most frequent kinds of women trafficking in developed countries. Several thousand marriage agencies have been recognized as managing the industry.

Are Mail Order Spouses Illegal?

In fact, mail order marriages, commonly called brokered marriages, are legal and widespread. Mail order bride statistics are directly affiliated with international marriage brokers. This is probably more popular than ever, thanks to the Internet and easy access to information.

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Are mail order brides legal? While this is generally not regulated, certain federal laws that govern this practice. The International Marriage Broker Regulatory Act requires strict adherence to certain rules and disclosures through marriage brokers. This law includes information regarding the finances and criminal history of the future husband.

Until financial, criminal, and family histories are passed on to the bride-to-be, consent to the marriage cannot be granted. IMBRA also requires the IMB to provide mail order brides with information about their legal rights and resources regarding immigration, domestic violence, child and spousal support. The main goal of IMBRA is to prevent abuse of the international marriage system.

What Motivates Women to Become Mail Order Brides?

Many women’s purposes of becoming mail-order brides are situations where victims of trafficking become more vulnerable to their traffickers. Oftentimes, poverty and unemployment have led many abused brides to be seduced by Western media portraits and leave their home countries to find a better life abroad.

The international mail order bride industry advances under unreliable guarantees and a lack of data presented to a prospective mail order spouse. While women dream of improving their lives, men who buy a spouse are usually looking for submissive and obedient women that they can dominate and control.

Mail Order Marriage Statistics

About 100,000 to 150,000 adult women, most of whom are from Asia and Eastern Europe, call themselves “mail order brides”. According to a 2000 study, a great majority of purchasers are Canadian and American men who are 20-50 years older than brides themselves. They spend between $3,000 and $10,000 on a wife through a mail-order agency.

According to the latest estimates, 11,000 and 16,000 marriages happen with brides and American men each year. Surveys of agencies show that they earn between $ 6,000 and $10,000 per customer. Some agencies state they serve up to 15,000 customers a year, making huge profits at a minimal cost.

No Hopes For The Future

The possible risk of international marriage is irregular power distribution. Under the Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendment, a husband applies for a spouse or fiancé visa. Therefore, the bride has to marry a foreign husband in three months of arriving in the United States.

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The bride only has a conditional resident status for two years. Hence, before the end of the two-year period, a couple must mutually get permanent resident status. Such a conditional resident status makes the bride dependent on her husband, who has power over her. Since then, he can threaten with deportation whenever he wants. Men use the power to make brides dependent and helpless, resulting in social and linguistic separation, lack of social media, economic dependency, and fear of deportation. These factors force the bride to stay with her husband, regardless of whether there is violence.

Worldwide Criminal Trafficking

Not all systems that allow comparing men and women from all over are examples of human trafficking. The main horrors of the market are the overwhelming majority. Back in the 1990s, Russia became a country of origin, transit, and destination of human trafficking, primarily of the sex trade in women and minors. The exact number of Russian women sold is unknown.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) estimates that between 1992 and 2002, some 500,000 women and girls were removed from the former Soviet Union, mainly from Russia. The collapse of the USSR in 1991 led to extreme shifts in the region’s economic system, resulting in increased levels of unemployment and poverty, especially among women. This pervasive change in government structure, employment structure, and investment allows many to exploit people in need without fear of the law.

happy couple

The profits prompted the market to exploit women of all ages, especially minors, and sell them for illegal prostitution through Europe, Saudi Arabia, China, North America, and more. Suspicious associations began to invite women to work as waitresses, nurses, dancers, office workers, travel agents, etc. They immediately took their passports and sold them to different brothels. The reluctance to obey most often resulted in rape, control, and extreme violence.

Strong political will is needed to stop human trafficking across Europe and its borders. Through NGO collaboration, government resources, and bilateral discussions, more can be done to support the prevention, rescue, and repatriation of victims of trafficking.

Unfortunately, the fight to end human trafficking, especially sex trafficking, is long and requires the collaboration of several organizations. Since a political center is concentrated anywhere other than human trafficking, the fight will be difficult.

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How to Find Mail Order Brides?

Today, you can find the very same mail order bride thanks to dating portals and marriage agents. Now you can meet beautiful girls online. Hundreds of sites and applications have appeared offering all the necessary conditions for dating.

Geography has ceased to matter. Now you can get along with a person from any continent and decide together who will move to whom. The dream of a single woman to go abroad has not faded. As a rule, women’s main motivation for posting their profiles on such sites is to improve their living standards.

FAQ

Are mail-order brides a form of human trafficking?

The term mail-order bride is often viewed as stemming from a time when gender roles were strictly defined; a man could possibly purchase a woman as a wife through a catalog or online platform. However, many advocates for the industry argue that it is merely a modern form of matchmaking, and does not involve the buying or selling of women.

What do you think motivates men to seek out mail-order brides?

One possible motivation for men to seek out mail-order brides could be a desire for a traditional spouse who is willing to stay at home and care for the household. These men may also be attracted to foreign cultures and see a mail-order bride as a way to bring exotic beauty and tradition into their lives. Others may simply be seeking a submissive partner or see purchasing a bride as an easier solution than trying to find a partner through traditional dating methods.

Do you think mail-order brides have a fair chance at having a successful relationship?

While there are certainly successful relationships that come from mail-order bride situations, there are also a significant number of cases where these marriages end in abuse or psychological trauma for the bride. Additionally, these marriages are often stigmatized and viewed as inauthentic by society. Ultimately, it is up to the individuals involved to determine the success of their relationship, but one must consider the potential challenges and prejudices that come with pursuing a mail-order bride.