Tran Dai Nhat, whose mother was raped by several South Korean soldiers, was bullied by both pupils and teachers throughout his childhood, leading to a struggle of identity and acceptance throughout his adult life.
Mr Nhat, who founded Justice for Lai Dai Han, is campaigning for an apology by the government of South Korea. In many conflict or post-conflict areas, the children of victims of rape face ostracisation by society for the “crime” of descending from an enemy combatant.
One only has to look at the Supreme Yazidi Spiritual Council in Iraq’s decision to accept survivors of rape by Isil combatants back into the community, but not to recognise their children, to understand that children are the “invisible victims” of this horrific practice.
While programmes such as the UK’s Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) are doing essential work, much more needs to be undertaken by governments to persuade countries recovering from conflict to take action in support of victims.
In particular, we must fight the things that condemn children to a life of shame and ostracisation: gender inequality, inter-community conflict, prejudice and ignorance.
As the UN special advisor on the prevention of genocide said in a briefing to the UN Security Council in 2017, shame and stigma are integral to the logic of using sexual violence as a weapon of war.
Perpetrators of sexual violence recognise that “this crime attacks individual and collective identity, social relationships and status”.