A government watchdog on human trafficking served caution against committing a crime for engaging in mail-order marriage.
“Mail-order spouse or forced marriage is a crime,” The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) stated in a public advisory.
IACAT, an agency under the Department of Justice, stressed that Republic Act No. 10906 provides that it is “unlawful for any person to advertise, enlist, or engage in any business or scheme for money, profit, or economic or other consideration which has for its purpose of matching or offering of a Filipino to a foreign national for marriage or common-law partnership on a mail-order basis or through personal introduction, e-mail, social media, or websites on the internet.”
RA 10906, or the Anti-Mail Order Spouse Act, was meant to “prevent the exploitation of Filipinos, and protect them from unlawful practices, businesses and schemes which offer Filipinos for marriage to unscrupulous foreign nationals and expose them to abuse, exploitation, prostitution, and violent situations.
The bill was passed by both Houses of Congress in 2016. It lapsed into law in 2019.
IACAT urged the public to report human trafficking activities.
“Let’s end Modern-day Slavery! Report Human Trafficking to 1343 Actionline if within Metro Manila, and (02) 1343 for those outside Metro Manila,” the advisory said.