PHNOM PENH (AFP) - Male foreigners over the age of 50 have been outlawed from marrying Cambodian women in the country under new rules
designed to crack down on sham marriages and human trafficking, the government said Wednesday.
Foreigners who earn less than $2,550 per month are also barred from wedding local women, foreign ministry spokesman Koy Kuong told AFP, but the restrictions do not apply to weddings taking place overseas.
Marriages between old men and young women are "inappropriate", Koy Kuong said, and foreign men who wish to marry nationals must earn a high salary to ensure that "Cambodian women can live a decent life".
"We are preventing fake marriages and human trafficking," he said, adding that the government was aware of cases, documented by rights groups, where
Cambodian women were sent into prostitution or "used as slaves" in their
husband's home country.
The Cambodian foreign ministry has sent a diplomatic note to all the embassies and consulates in the country informing them of the new egulations,
which came into effect on March 1.
Kek Galabru, president of local human rights group Licadho, praised the government's intention to protect Cambodian brides.
But she said the new guidelines "go against Cambodian marriage law and
international law" -- specifically the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
"This is discrimination against women because they will not be allowed to
marry men who are over 50... while Cambodian men can marry any foreign woman they choose," she said.
Cambodia imposed a temporary ban on foreign marriages in 2008 to prevent
human trafficking, amid concern over a sharp rise in the number of brokered
unions involving South Korean men and poor Cambodian women.
That ban followed an International Organisation for Migration report that
said many Cambodian brides suffered abuse after moving to South Korea in
marriages hastily arranged by brokers who made large profits.
The restriction was lifted about eight months later after new laws were introduced to prevent women becoming mail-order brides.
50세 넘는 외국인은 캄보디아 여성과 결혼 금지
(프놈펜 AFP=연합뉴스) 50세가 넘는 외국인 남성은 캄보디아인 여성과 결혼하지 못하게 됐다.
캄보디아 외무부 대변인은 외국인 남성이 캄보디아 여성과 결혼하려면 나이가 50세 이하여야 하며 월수입은 2천550달러를 넘어야 한다고 밝혔다.
이런 규정은 3월 1일부터 시행됐다.
그러나 이번 규정은 외국에서는 적용되지 않는다고 캄보디아 외무부는 밝혔다.
캄보디아 인권단체 '리카도'는 여성들을 보호하기 위해 나선 정부의 조치를 환영하는 뜻을 밝혔다.
하지만 캄보디아 남성들이 외국인 여성과 결혼할 때는 아무 제약도 없는데 반해 캄보디아 여성이 50세 이상의 외국인 남성과 결혼하는데 제약을 두는 것은 여성에 대한 차별이라고 주장했다.
앞서 2008년 3월 국제이주기구(IOM)가 '브로커를 통한 한국 남성과 캄보디아 여성의 중개결혼 사례 중 일부가 인신매매 성격이 있다'라는 내용의 보고서를 발표하자 캄보디아 정부는 국제 결혼을 8개월 동안 금지한 적이 있다.