Protecting Children

Printed on rize paper.

Size “Large”: approx. 60 cm x 80 cm

Size “Small”: approx. 38 cm x 58 cm

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$ 29$ 79

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Civilian deaths caused by both sides amounted to a significant percentage of total deaths, perhaps from 30 to nearly 50 percent. Civilian deaths caused by communist forces, which included the Viet Cong, North Vietnamese Army, Pathet Lao and Khmer Rouge, mostly resulted from assassinations and terror tactics. Civilian deaths caused by the armed forces of the governments of South Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the United States, South Korea, and other allies were primarily the consequence of extensive aerial bombing and the use of massive firepower in military operations conducted in heavily populated areas. The nature of the war often made it difficult to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants.

A number of incidents occurred during the war in which civilians were deliberately targeted or killed. The best-known are the Massacre at Huế and the My Lai massacre. A detailed demographic study in 1995 calculated 791,000–1,141,000 war-related Vietnamese deaths, both soldiers and civilians, for all of Vietnam from 1965 to 1975. The study came up with a most likely Vietnamese death toll of 882,000, which included 655,000 adult males (above 15 years of age), 143,000 adult females, and 84,000 children. Those totals include only Vietnamese deaths, and do not include American and other allied military deaths which amounted to about 64,000. The study has been criticized for its small sample size, the imbalance in the sample between rural and urban areas, and the possible overlooking of clusters of high mortality rates. Also in 1995, the Vietnamese government released its estimate of war deaths for the more lengthy period of 1955 to 1975. According to the Vietnamese, Communist battle deaths totaled 1.1 million and civilian deaths of Vietnamese totaled 2.0 million. These estimates probably include battle deaths of Vietnamese soldiers in Laos and Cambodia, but do not include deaths of South Vietnamese and allied soldiers which would add nearly 300,000 for a grand total of 3.4 million military and civilian dead.