Compensation for Vietnam's Agent Orange victims

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This article seeks to assess the available sources of compensation for Vietnamese victims of the principal US military herbicide, Agent Orange, used during the Vietnam War period, 1961–71. The impetus for the examination of compensation for the victims of Agent Orange is the apparent inability of international law to accommodate individual victims of war crimes. The struggle identified in this instance is the privileging of peace agreements between sovereign states over the accountability to individual victims of war crimes. The article therefore focuses primarily on assessing avenues for compensation in view of international law in theory and practice. Within this framework the article identifies three possible external avenues of compensation for Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange. In view of the current state of international relations, international law and institutions, the mobilisation of an international donor fund is recommended as an avenue that best ensures for victims of this war crime a level of compensation commensurate with their loss. Consistent with the broader theme of justice, this article lends support to the mandatory punishment of war crimes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
JournalThe International Journal of Human Rights
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2007


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