11th National Selection Conference of the European Youth Parliament Ukraine
Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality
Chairperson: Nikita SOKOLOV (RU/UA)
The lack of legislation regulating the MOB industry puts many women every year at risk. What should the EU do to crack down on human trafficking and protect women that are being bought into the territory of the European Union?

The vast majority of "mail-order brides" comes from the countries which currently endure economic difficulties, and so women in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other Eastern European countries are common candidates. The culture of "machismo", resulting in gender discrimination and abusive domestic relationships, is also widespread in Eastern European countries and can contribute to the rise of the number of women who are desperately willing to marry a foreigner.

Faced with this situation of economic hardship and gender inequality, some women are hopeful that the so-called "international marriage agency" will solve all of their problems, which is sadly often not the case. As the activities of these agencies are not monitored or regulated in any way, they might end up being abused by their new men. Future husbands using these agencies in to find themselves a foreign bride, are neither subject to background checks, nor are held liable for their actions, even if they have had criminal record. Moreover, women often don't report cases of domestic abuse to the police due to lack of faith in the - often deeply corrupt - law enforcement system, especially seeing as they are now in a country other than their own. They are often afraid that the authorities will not protect them due to their blurry legal status, which is, in most cases, not true. That brings up another problem, which is that women often fail to seek help from authorities because they fear getting deported and their 'marriage' visa being revoked.

Furthermore, there is a risk for women seeking arrangement to fall victim of 'human trafficking', organized by dishonest groups advertising themselves as marriage agencies to attract young women. This, too, underscores the need for legal regulation.

There is nothing wrong in seeking marital happiness abroad. We should however think about how to ensure that women do so at their own will and not of necessity, as well as focus on providing Europe-wide regulations in order to avoid aforementioned abuses of human rights that might accompany MOB practices.
Watch the video from your Chairperson:
Made on