Authors: Pattaka Sa-ngimnet
Thai women often seek to find Western husbands so that they can escape poverty and hopelessness at home. International marriage brokerages take advantage of those needs to arrange marriages for these women to men who take them to their home countries and use them as domestic servants, sex slaves or for physical abuse. Using reports of violence against Thai women by foreign spouses from newspapers, magazines and reliable internet sources this paper examines the issue of force and intimidation in the international marriage brokerage business. Then the author analyzes and categorizes various types of marriage brokerages as to the levels of pressure or force that is used on the women who subscribe to it. This is followed by a discussion of forced and arranged marriage as a demonstration of a contradiction between individual rights and cultural rights. An analysis is then made of protections for married women in Thai, US and UK marriage and immigration law. Finally, various international agreements and conventions on human rights and the rights of women and the family are evaluated to determine what, if any rights are violated by the different marriage brokerages.
Keywords: Collective rights, Human rights, Marriage brokers, immigration law