By Janice Ho, Youjeong Huh, Joyce Jih, Morgan Liang, Chinmay Pandit, Chloe Rushovich, Armenthia Stewart, Tian Tan, and Kyle Twadelle
Bride trafficking, although widely unheard of, is a serious form of human trafficking. The
main factors leading to bride trafficking are gender imbalance, promises of a brighter future, and cultural expectations (Bélanger, 2010). While there has been some attention to this issue from the governments of the countries where the problem is most prevalent, it remains largely unknown in the public sphere. Thus, for our action component, we screened a documentary film about bride trafficking at the University of Michigan, followed by a discussion on the subject to promote awareness in bride trafficking. During the discussion, participants also proposed practical ideas to prevent bride trafficking. After the screening of the film and discussion, a questionnaire was distributed in order to assess the changes in the participants’ views on the issue. Our results showed that the event increased the participants’ awareness, as 11 individuals indicated in our survey that they had changed their view on the topic. To summarize, it is fair to state that our event was successful in raising awareness on the issue of bride trafficking among the students at the University of Michigan. However, further follow-up studies are strongly encouraged to address the limitations of our research, such as the small sample size, and self-selection bias.