JUSTICE FOR LAI DAI HAN CALLS FOR FULL UNITED NATIONS INVESTIGATION INTO SEXUAL VIOLENCE DURING VIETNAM WAR
Former UK foreign secretaries Jack Straw and Lord William Hague, and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad, address an event in the British Houses of Parliament-
London, United Kingdom, January 16, 2019 –Speaking at an event on ending sexual violence in conflict in the UK Houses of Parliament, Jack Straw, former UK foreign secretary and international ambassador for Justice for Lai Dai Han (JLDH), called for a full investigation by the United Nations Human Rights Council into sexual violence during the Vietnam War.
The ‘Lai Dai Han’ are the thousands of dual heritage Korean-Vietnamese children born during the Vietnam War. JLDH represents them and their mothers, of which 800 are still alive today, who allege that they were sexually assaulted or raped by South Korean soldiers during the War.
Between 1964 and 1973, some 320,000 South Korean soldiers were deployed to Vietnam to fight alongside the United States. South Korea has never recognised the allegations made against its troops and never investigated. Some of the women that allege they were raped were as young as 12 or 13 at the time.
Jack Straw said:
“Facing up to unacceptable behaviour by troops is difficult for any country. However, as we have learned in the UK through painful experiences like ‘Bloody Sunday’, uncovering the truth not only gives victims and their families closure but can strengthen a nation and its values.
“I urge friends in the Republic of Korea to take note and for the United Nations to heed our request for an investigation. The victims of sexual violence and the Lai Dai Han deserve recognition and an opportunity to heal. We must demonstrate to the world the importance of following through on commitments to end sexual violence in conflict.”
Lord William Hague, former UK foreign secretary and co-founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, said:
“Ending impunity for crimes of sexual violence in conflict is an essential part of securing a just and peaceful world. There is now an overwhelming case for a permanent investigating body, under the auspices of the UN, to help ensure these atrocities can be prevented and justice made available for all.”
Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2018, said:
“As someone who has come to understand the importance of advancing and defending human rights, I am proud to be a voice for all victims of sexual violence in conflict. The Lai Dai Han have been living in the shadows of Vietnamese society for far too long. The victims and their families deserve to be recognised as we work together to achieve justice.”
The event, sponsored by JLDH and Wayne David MP, the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Vietnam,brought together campaigners for the prevention of sexual violence and parliamentarians into a discussion on what steps need to be taken to end it for good. Members of the Lai Dai Han community addressed parliamentarians on the social stigma faced by survivors of sexual violence and how to provide justice for victims.
Other speakers included: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the UK Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict and Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the United Nations; and members of the Lai Dai Han community.
ABOUT THE LAI DAI HAN
The “Lai Dai Han” are the tens of thousands of children of Vietnamese women that allege they were raped by South Korean soldiers during the Vietnam War. Between 1964 and 1973, some 320,000 South Korean soldiers were deployed to Vietnam to fight alongside the United States.
Justice for Lai Dai Han gives a voice to the victims and their children and campaigns for South Korea to recognise and investigate the allegations of widespread rape and sexual violence.
Justice for Lai Dai Han works with policy makers, writers and artists to ensure this injustice is finally recognised, alongside fundraising efforts on behalf of the Lai Dai Han and their families.
Our work seeks to raise public awareness, to allow political and community leaders to connect with the victims of sexual violence to understand their suffering first hand, and to create public art as a permanent reminder of the plight of the Lai Dai Han.