Call for justice for victims of Agent Orange/dioxin

Millions of Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange and dioxin used during the Vietnam War by the US army should be supported to win the fight for justice, reported Thanh Niew News Online quoting the comments of officials at a conference in Hanoi on August 8.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, one of the meeting participants, said that domestic assistance for the victims remains modest. He hopes all the victims should be given justice.

The meeting was also attended by former Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama, foreign scientists, ambassadors and representatives of international organisations.

Dam shared stories of Vietnamese families struggling with medical issues caused by Agent Orange. He said that vast area of contaminated land still cannot be used for farming.

The US army reportedly sprayed about 80 million litres of defoilants, 60 percent of which were dioxin, only about 25,000 Vietnamese neighbourhoods of over three million hectares during 1961-1971.

On average, each Vietnamese suffered from nearly three litres of dioxin and an amount of bombs and mines nearly ten times of their weight.

According to the Vietnamese Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin, about 4.8 million Vietnamese were directly exposed to the deadly chemical substance. Of these, three million have shown and suffered from dioxin-related illnesses and conditions. The number does not include children of those directly exposed.