Children Affected by the Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a long-lasting conflict in Southeast Asia. It started after World War II and ended in 1975. An estimation of two million Vietnamese soldiers and over 50,000 Americans were killed in the war. Many civilians lost their lives and millions became refugees. Much of North Vietnam was destroyed by American bombs. The chemicals used to clear the jungle destroyed much of the land permanently. In 1973 North Vietnam, South Vietnam, the United States and the Vietcong signed a peace agreement. It did not last for long. The North Vietnamese army and the Vietcong pushed further to the south. The South Vietnam’s army was too small and couldn’t do much to resist forces. Thousands of civilians fled from the oncoming enemies. In 1975 Communist troops entered Saigon and the South Vietnamese surrendered. Soon after this the North and South Vietnam was reunited again, under a communist government.
Who? The people affected were the children of American soldiers and Vietnamese woman, who were born during their time in the Vietnam War. They were commonly known by the Vietnamese as “children of the dust”. They were treated harshly by their neighbours and got taunted and bullied for their heritage and features. Many of these children were left by their families at orphanages or completely abandoned. These consequences have caused most of the children to grow up living in the streets and parks of Vietnam.
What? The children were displaced in Vietnam and America for the features that they possessed. They were discriminated against and wronged during their childhood because of the way the Vietnamese saw them, which was that they were the child of an enemy. During their childhood, the communist forces closed down orphanages which caused them to go work at rural work farms or go to re-education camps, which were prison camps operated by the Communist government of Vietnam. Later on these people had a hard time getting good jobs and some of them would become vulnerable to drugs and end up in prison. The government of the United States at that time confronted this and stated that the care and welfare for these children is not considered a government responsibility during the 1970’s.