Seminar supports Agent Orange victim in fight for justice

The Vietnam Association of the Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) chapter in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho held a seminar expressing support for Vietnamese-French Tran To Nga in her fight for justice for Vietnamese AO victims. 

In May 2014, Nga, 74, filed a lawsuit against 26 US chemical firms for producing chemical toxins sprayed by the US army in the war in Vietnam, causing serious consequences for the community, her and her children. 

Nga graduated from a Hanoi university in 1966 and became a war correspondent of the Liberation News Agency, now Vietnam News Agency. She worked in some of the most heavily AO/Dioxin affected areas in southern Vietnam such as Cu Chi, Ben Cat and along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, ultimately experiencing contamination effects herself. 

Among her three children, the first child died of heart defects and the second suffers from a blood disease. 

In 2009, Nga, who contracted a number of acute diseases, appeared as a witness at the Court of Public Opinion in Paris, France against US chemical companies. 

The complaint and related documents were handed over to the Crown Court of Evry city in the suburb of Paris. 

Up to 19 of US chemical firms stood trial with 38 defence lawyers while three lawyers represented Nga. 

According to Nga, six working sessions took place at court from April 2015 – July 2016. The seventh session is slated for next year. 

She told the seminar that she has collected enough legal evidence and stood ready to face trial in the future, and expressed her wish that the public and socio-political organisations will continue supporting her throughout the process. 

A similar event is also due to be held in the southern province of Soc Trang in the foreseeable future. 

From 1961-1971, US troops sprayed more than 80 million litres of herbicides - 44 million litres of which were AO, containing nearly 370 kilograms of dioxin - over southern Vietnam. 

As a result, around 4.8 million Vietnamese were exposed to the toxic chemical. Many of the victims have died, while millions of their descendants are living with deformities and diseases as a direct result of the chemical’s effects. 

Not only Vietnamese but people from many other countries also became victims of this mass-killing chemical.

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