Who are the Lai Dai Han?
The “Lai Dai Han” are the tens of thousands of children of Vietnamese women raped by South Korean soldiers during the Vietnam War. “Lai Dai Han” is a Vietnamese term for a person of dual heritage born to a South Korean father and a Vietnamese mother.
Between 1964 and 1973, some 320,000 South Korean soldiers were deployed to Vietnam to fight alongside the United States, and rape, as well as other acts of sexual violence, were committed against Vietnamese civilians by South Korean combatants throughout the War.
Some of the women that were raped or experienced sexual violence were as young as 12 or 13 at the time, and more than 800 victims are still alive. As a result of their experiences, tens of thousands of young adults of mixed Vietnamese-Korean heritage face social exclusion, stigma and shame and live in the shadows of Vietnamese society.
Many of the Lai Dai Han and their families live in severe poverty, cannot read or write and do not have access to social services, such as healthcare and education. The Government of South Korea has never recognised the sexual violence that took place and has never apologised for the crimes of its soldiers.