23 Penn St. Int'l L. Rev. 701 (2004-2005)
Regulation or Proscription: Comparing American and Philippine Proposals to Solve Problems Related to the International Marriage Broker Industry

handle is hein.journals/psilr23 and id is 711 raw text is: Regulation or Proscription?: Comparing
American and Philippine Proposals to Solve
Problems Related to the International
Marriage Broker Industry
Erin Elizabeth Chafin*
I.  Introduction
The practice of trafficking in persons has a long, shameful, and
shadowed past. For years, the covert nature of the activity prevented
discovery of its grave consequences. However, the global impact of the
practice has initiated an international dialogue about the problems it
raises, as well as strategies for its elimination. The effort to curtail
trafficking in persons has included attempts at formulating a working
definition of the term trafficking in persons. Debate has surrounded
what parameters should be placed on the definition-that is, how to
determine which activities are atrocious enough to merit protection.
Central to this debate is the subcategory of commercial sex work and
whether to distinguish between consenting and non-consenting victims.
This seemingly insignificant distinction has a critical impact upon certain
classes of victims, particularly mail order brides.
Within the context of trafficking in persons, the international
marriage broker (IMB) industry has attracted attention from scholars,
human rights activists, and the media. The IMB business has exploded
with the advent of the Internet,' which made the services cheaper to
provide to a wider audience. In addition to its pervasiveness, the topic
has garnered publicity because of the controversial issues it involves.
The very idea of purchasing a mate offends modern sensibilities,
especially considering the inequities caused by economic, racial, social,
* 2005 Juris Doctor Candidate, Pennsylvania State University-Dickinson School
of Law.
1. See Kye Leung, Internet Spurs Growth of Mail Order Brides, available at
http://www.aamovement.net/imnigrantlabor/mailorder-brides.htnl (last visited Sept.
14, 2003).

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