Lai Dai Han and Human Rights Violations


Lai Dai Han refers to children of Korean troops deployed in the Vietnam War and local Vietnamese women.

Human rights violation issues revolving around Lai Dai Han include assault and forced labor among many others.

This article will introduce Lai Dai Han and the actions taken by the related countries.

In addition, other issues related to human rights violation surrounding Lai Dai Han will be explained.

Summary of Lai Dai Han

Lai dan

Lai Dai Han in Vietnamese means “mixed blood”.

This refers to children who were born as a result of sexual assault by Korean soldiers.

There were also children between Korean civilians dispatched to Vietnam as laborers and the local Vietnamese women.


“Lai Dai Han” are children of Korean soldiers and Vietnamese local women during the Vietnam war of 1965-1975.

It is speculated that this is due to sexual assaults committed by Korean soldiers at the time.

Even after cease fire in some regions, there were frequent incidents of rape in villages by the Korean army such as the White Horse Division and the Fierce Tiger Division.

After the end of the Vietnam War, these women and children were abandoned as the soldiers returned home.

In some cases, soldiers returned to Vietnam and married there.

United States involvement in Vietnam in the 1950s and early 1960s consisted of sending military advisers to help the South Vietnamese in their struggle.

United States involvement in Vietnam in the 1950s and early 1960s consisted of sending military advisers to help the South Vietnamese in their struggle against Communists in the North. But when it was reported that North Vietnam had fired on U.S. ships in the Gulf of Tonkin, President Johnson responded by bombing North Vietnam and sending in ground troops in 1965.
Reference : “Vietnam War – National Geographic”

Population of Lai Dai Han

Lai Dai han

The exact number of Lai Dai Han is unknown.

According to a survey conducted by a private organization that has association with the Lai Dai Han community, about 1,300 people were reported of which 500 still living in Vietnam.

Other medias cite the possibility of more than 10,000 Lai Dai Han.

The discrepancies in data is due to the fact that the Lai Dai Han issue has been neglected by both the Vietnamese and Korean government.

How Lai Dai Han are Treated

Lai Dai Han were considered the children of the Korean soldiers, hence faced discrimination and human rights violation by the Vietnamese society.

In some regions, cruel discrimination still persists.

In order to escape such unfair treatment, many hid the fact they were Lai Dai Han.

In recent years, there is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which prohibits any distinction based on race, skin color, or political opinion.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Reference : “Universal Declaration of Human Rights – United Nations”

Response to Lai Dai Han

Lai Dai han 2

The issue of Lai Dai Han was a concern globally since discrimination against women and human rights violations had occured.

However, Korea and Vietnam responded very differently.

Each response will be looked in the coming sections.

Korea’s Response

South Korea refused to acknowledge the existence of Lai Dai Han and did not make any actions for fear that such crimes by the soldiers would be called into question.

The Korean Council which was actively working on the comfort women issue, also reluctance to take action.

There were movements from some of the Lai Dai Han, filing lawsuits against their Korean fathers to be recognized as a biological child, in hope to receive a Korean citizenship.

Then, the Korean law was revised to state that if one is of age at the time of application, they cannot acquire a Korean citizenship even if their father is Korean.

On the other hand, some Korean NGO supported the establishments of facilities for Lai Dai Han to learn the Korean language and receive vocational training.

Vietnam’s Response

Vietnam answer

Vietnam has not actively criticized South Korea in attempt to maintain bilateral friendly economic relations.

There were movements in which Lai Dai Han demanded the DNA of Korean President to prove that they are descendants of Koreans in an open letter.

This entails that the Vietnamese government is more willing to develop friendly relations with South Korea than to bring up the issue of sexual violence perpetrated by Korean soldiers.

Justice for the Lai Dai Han


Peter Carroll, a British civic activist founded a civic organization called “Justice for Lai Dai Han”.

This organization aimed to spread awareness to the international community about the Vietnamese women who were victims of sexual violence during the Vietnam War.

Interviews by members of Justice for Lai Dai Han were conducted with women who raised Lai Dai Han children, and revealed the sexual violence perpetrated by Korean Soldiers.

Human Rights Violations Against the Lai Dai Han

Lai dai han 3
Human rights violation issues raised in the Lai Dai Han include sexual violence, abuse, and discrimination against women.

In recent years, there is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights where equal human rights for each and every one of us is stated.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was established in response to the atrocities during WWII, including the Holocaust. The document outlines the human rights that all people are entitled to such as freedom from torture, freedom of expression, and the right to seek asylum. When those rights aren’t protected or blatantly disregarded, they are violated. What are the types of human rights violations? Who is responsible for preventing and addressing them?
Reference : “What Are Human Rights Violations? – Human Rights Careers

Human rights violation signifies a situation in which one’s inherent human rights are not recognized.

The fact that human rights violations persist to this day cannot be ignored.

The state, government, and corporations must guarantee economic, social and cultural rights to those who are subjected to racial and class discrimination, not to mention the Lai Dai Han.

Human Rights Should Be Protected and Promoted

Human Rights types

In order to eliminate future cases like the Lai Dai Han issue, it is important for people to be aware of human rights.

Even today there are many cases around the world that violate human rights.

In the future, to eliminate human rights violations, it is essential to organize activities that endorse the conservation of human rights.

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