The Philippines has warned South Koreans who are running international marriage agencies that they may be subjected to legal punishment.
The warning was direct from the Philippines government to Seoul and said it was the first time that the Philippines has warned South Korea on the matter.
Under the Philippines Anti-Mail-Order Bride Law of 1990, matchmaking agencies that connect Filipino women to foreign nationals for marriage is illegal and punishable by imprisonment for the offence.
Matchmaking services in South Korea are not illegal and about 2,500 Koreans each year sign up for the service.
Of the countries that have laws on the books against matchmaking and mail-order bride services include Cambodia, China and Vietnam – it is said today that numerous brides married to South Koreans are in fact mostly from those countries which outlaw the service.
“The Korean law advises those who run such businesses to follow the rules of foreign countries if they choose to work overseas,” said Kim Dae-jung, a Gender Ministry official in charge of the country’s multicultural policies.
“If a Korean marriage broker breaks a law overseas and we receive a complaint from the foreign government, the person loses his or her business license immediately.”
The government of the Philippines filed its complaint in January over Korean marriage brokers operating within the country illegally.