U.K.-Based Eaves Group Releases Report on Mail-Order Bride Industry
Friday, April 10, 2009 10:21 AM

In March 2009, Eaves, a London-based charity that conducts research on human trafficking and prostitution, released the report Male Ordered: The Mail-Order Bride Industry and Trafficking in Women for Sexual and Labour Exploitation. This report provides extensive research of the mail-order bride industry in the UK -- an industry that is inextricably linked to the promotion of trafficking, prostitution, pornography and slavery. The report suggests that this industry not only exploits vulnerable groups of women but also reinforces racial and ethnic stereotypes.

The research was gathered through a survey of more than 150 mail-order bride websites, such as GoodWife.com.  The survey collected information with regard to ethnicity, religion, site ownership, images, rankings, role descriptions and information presented within the profiles of the “brides-to-be”. The report found that this industry, based on the market and sale of human beings, is inherently an example of degradation and exploitation of women. The findings support the increased risk of sexual and labor exploitation, sex trafficking and domestic violence for women in servile marriages.

The report argues that the mail-order bride industry can be more realistically understood as a modern form of slavery, in violation of numerous international conventions such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the Convention on the Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration for Marriages (1964), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1968), and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979).

Recommendations were given regarding changes in government research with regard to violence against women, particularly immigrant women; increased law enforcement; additional legal services for women who have experienced domestic violence and sexual exploitation; and regulations for the companies that participate in the mail-order bride industry.

To read the full report, please click here.

Compiled from: Stepnitz, Abigail, Male-Ordered: The mail-order bride industry and trafficking in women for sexual and labour exploitation, The POPPY Project (Eaves) (April 2009).