Country for PR: United Kingdom
Contributor: PR Newswire Europe
Wednesday, June 12 2019 - 08:06
Justice for Lai Dai Han Unveils Historic Statue to Honour Victims of Sexual Violence
LONDON, June 12, 2019 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

-Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad and other VIP guests headlined the event-

Today, Justice for Lai Dai Han (JLDH) was joined by Nobel Peace Prize 
recipient, Nadia Murad, and other distinguished Parliamentary guests, including 
Chair of the Vietnam All Party Parliamentary Group, Wayne David MP and Co-Chair 
of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Preventing Sexual Violence in 
Conflict, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne at Church House near Westminster 
for the unveiling of a statue honouring all victims of sexual violence, 
including the Lai Dai Han. 

Today's historic event, held just a few months after the Parliamentary launch 
on 16 January 2019, was the second in a series to raise awareness of the 
widespread nature of sexual violence in global conflicts.

The 'Lai Dai Han' are the thousands of dual heritage Korean-Vietnamese 
individuals born as a result of wartime rape or sexual abuse during the Vietnam 
War. JLDH represents them and their mothers, of which 800 are still alive, who 
allege that they were sexually assaulted or raped by South Korean soldiers 
during the War. Some of the women who allege they were raped were as young as 
12 or 13 at the time. 

The "Mother and Child" statue, designed by Rebecca Hawkins, will serve as a 
beacon of hope to all victims of sexual violence around the world. It depicts a 
mother and child with different roots trapped by a Strangler Fig tree, a plant 
native to Vietnam, which is wrapping its branches around them, refusing to let 
them go. After the unveiling event, the sculpture will go on display at the 
Gallery at 10 Hanover Street near Oxford Circus, before being installed as an 
outdoor exhibit in central London. 

On Monday, several members of the Lai Dai Han community hand-delivered a letter 
to No. 10 Downing Street which called on the British Government to formally 
support calls for an independent investigation led by the United Nations Human 
Rights Council (UNHRC) into what happened to the thousands of women raped by 
South Korean soldiers during the Vietnam War. As part of this process, 50 
members of the Lai Dai Han community have offered to provide DNA samples to be 
compared with a database of South Korean soldiers.

Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2018, said:

"Today's event helps to bring awareness to the plight of the Vietnamese victims 
of sexual violence as they seek recognition and justice. I am proud to stand up 
for all victims of sexual violence around the world." 

Rt. Hon. Jack Straw said:

"The statue unveiled today puts a face to the names of the women and children 
who are victims of Korean wartime sexual violence. We need an independent 
investigation by the UNHCR into the rape of Vietnamese women by South Korean 
soldiers. We must demonstrate that we remain committed and supportive of all 
victims of sexual violence."

Sculpture Artist Rebecca Hawkins said:

"I hope that this statue helps raise awareness for this important campaign and 
gives the women and children the justice and closure that they need. Being part 
of this campaign and meeting these brave and courageous women has been the 
honour of a lifetime and I urge everyone to hear their story." 


The "Lai Dai Han" are the tens of thousands of children of Vietnamese women 
that allege they were raped by South Korean soldiers during the Vietnam War. 
Between 1964 and 1973, some 320,000 South Korean soldiers were deployed to 
Vietnam to fight alongside the United States.

Justice for Lai Dai Han gives a voice to the victims and their children and 
campaigns for South Korea to recognise and investigate the allegations of 
widespread rape and sexual violence.

Justice for Lai Dai Han works with policy makers, writers and artists to ensure 
this injustice is finally recognised, alongside fundraising efforts on behalf 
of the Lai Dai Han and their families.

Our work seeks to raise public awareness, to allow political and community 
leaders to connect with the victims of sexual violence to understand their 
suffering firsthand, and to create public art as a permanent reminder of the 
plight of the Lai Dai Han. 

Source:  Justice for Lai Dai Han (JLDH)