Le Tran, Thuy (2020) Cross-Border Marriages in the Mekong Delta Region of Vietnam: Current Legal Problems and Proposed Solutions. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This thesis examines the nature of cross-border marriages between Vietnamese brides in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam and men from China, Taiwan and South Korea, and legal framework which regulates such marriages. The thesis’s aim to evaluate the effectiveness of Vietnamese law on cross-border marriages by identifying gaps of the law, especially on matters relating to the involvement of commercial match-making agencies and the exploitation of brides (mostly lowly educated and vulnerable young women) by marriage brokers. Based on the research findings, more effective solutions to tackling the problem are recommended.

The thesis adopts a socio-legal approach supported by doctrinal and comparative study to respond to the questions on how different jurisdictions such as China, Taiwan, South Korea and the Philippines, regulate matters related to cross-border marriages, especially commercial matchmaking practices, compared to Vietnamese law. While commercially transnational match-making activities were legalised in South Korea and Taiwan, they were banned in the Philippines in 1990 and in China in 1994 and have never been legally recognised in Vietnam. Instead, only the Centres for Consultancy and Support in Marriage and Family Involving Foreign Elements are granted legal status as non-profit marriage brokerage providers. The operation of these Centres, however, has not met the increasing needs of Vietnamese women in such marriages, while the current marriage law and regulations have not been effective enough to stop commercial matchmaking agencies from illegally operating in Vietnam.

Based on the results from primary data and comparative analyses, the thesis suggests law reform in Vietnam with a view to introducing practical and legal solutions to the problems associated with cross-border marriages. The practical solutions include a support model in the form of a state-run website that provides brides with pre-marriage assistance and information, and online Centres to provide pre-departure orientation programmes Legal solutions consist of legalising commercial match-making agencies in Vietnam, additional legal requirements on language proficiency for the parties in cross-border marriages, and compulsory pre-marital interviews. One of the key recommendations is that Vietnam should proactively engage in international cooperation on the harmonisation of policies on cross-border marriages, particular with countries such as China, South Korea and Taiwan.

FINAL THESIS - Le Tran.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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