French association wants to 'break the silence on the consequences of Agent Orange in Viet Nam'

The Le Monde newspaper of France has recently posted an article of the Collectif Viet Nam-Dioxine association, calling on French politicians and the international community to support victims of Agent Orange (AO) in Viet Nam and designate a day in commemoration of the victims.

An AO/dioxin victim in Vietn Nam. (Photo: VWR)

With the title “We want to break the silence on the consequences of Agent Orange in Viet Nam”, the article affirmed that sixty years after the start of the spraying of the herbicide by the US army in Viet Nam, the consequences are still present.

According to the article, sixty years ago, on August 10, 1961, the US military first sprayed the Agent Orange, a powerful herbicide containing dioxin - the substance responsible for many cases of cancer and birth defects, in the southern part of Viet Nam.

In French history and geography books, at the secondary and high school levels, the Viet Nam War is also mentioned. However, the content of the teaching is limited at the main features of the past war, but does not mention to the catastrophic consequences that still linger until today, according to the article.

The country and people of Viet Nam are used to seeing disfigured faces and bodies, and the unfortunate lives are also used to living in silence, and enduring pain, the article said, stressing that it is necessary to break this silence.

The Collectif Viet Nam-Dioxine association argued that all AO victims do not deserve to suffer the pain and disadvantages, live in difficult conditions and have almost no access to services.

The association emphasised the need to fight for justice for them in Viet Nam as well as in other countries.

The association proposed the French parliamentarians participate in compensating for the injustices suffered by all AO victims by acknowledging the crimes committed in Viet Nam and in its neighboring countries such as Cambodia and Laos.

It also called for an official day to commemorate the victims, as well as the consideration of introducing about the impact of the Viet Nam War on people and ecosystems at schools.

The association affirmed that it will continue to join efforts to support Viet Nam.