Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 8.40 pm Paris time.

REPORTERS

REPORTERS

Latest update : 2011-01-19

Vietnam: for victims of Agent Orange, the war isn't over

In Vietnam, 30 years after the war, Agent Orange is still claiming victims. Used on a massive scale by the US army to prevent Viet Cong soldiers from hiding, this powerful herbicide permeated the ground. From encephalitis to congenital deformities and leukaemia, thousands of children are being born severely handicapped due to the chemical.

From 1961 to 1971, the US army sprayed massive amounts of dioxin over Vietnam. In total, between 2.1 and 4.8 million people living in some 20,000 villages were directly affected.

40 years after it was sprayed, Agent Orange continues to cause deaths, cancers, leukaemia and birth defects. The Vietnamese Red Cross estimates that there are one million victims.

At the end of 2009, US President Barack Obama decided to double the amount of American aid set aside to repair the damage caused by Agent Orange in Vietnam. Six million dollars will now be put towards decontaminating the worst-affected areas. Part of this money is expected to go to centres where the victims of Agent Orange live. The Vietnamese welcomed this gesture by Obama, but found it insufficient considering the amount of damage caused in their country.

Unable to attack the US government, the Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange filed a lawsuit in the US courts against the main American herbicide suppliers, including Dow Chemical, Thompson, Diamond, Monsanto, Hercules and Uniroyal. The first verdict was delivered on March 13th 2007: the lawsuit was dismissed.

But the NGOs are not giving up. They want those responsible for this sanitary catastrophe to be tried, and the victims awarded compensation. On May 15th and 16th 2009, an International People’s Tribunal of Conscience met in Paris to hear the testimony of Agent Orange victims and determine responsibilities. Over 40 years after it was sprayed, Agent Orange is still a daily preoccupation for the Vietnamese.

Our reporters went to the contaminated zones of Vietnam to meet the victims.

By Michaël SZTANKE , Gael Caron , Dung Vo Trung

Comments

COMMENT(S)

 
 
Archives

2014-04-18 Mahatma Gandhi

Indian election: Votes for sale

On April 7th, India’s marathon general election kicked off. Until May 12th, some 814 million Indians are eligible to cast their ballots. Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi,...

Read more

2014-04-11 Algerian presidential elections

Is Algeria’s civil society mobilising?

Algeria goes to the polls on April 17th with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika vying for a fourth term. Yet the ailing 77-year-old president, who spent most of past year in hospital...

Read more

2014-04-04 United Nations

Rwanda: The last genocide of the 20th century

On April 6 1994, the Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana’s plane was shot down by a missile. Within a day, the country was gripped by a murderous wave of violence. Between...

Read more

2014-03-28 World Cup

Worked to death in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup

Every day Nepalese workers venture to the Gulf States in search of a better life. Some of these workers will not survive. Those who do receive little or no wages and are given...

Read more

2014-03-21 Sahara

Mali's peace caravan

In Mali, thousands of civilians are still displaced in neighbouring countries. In an effort to encourage their return, musicians have organised a huge caravan crossing the Sahara...

Read more