New Delhi: Indian peacekeeping forces have been accused of sexual exploitation and abuse in three cases between 2010 and 2013, according to a recent United Nations report.
Indian Army contributes the third-largest contingent to UN missions.
Similar allegations against the Indian personnel were made in 2008 when an investigation found that at least 10 soldiers had sex with prostitutes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, violating the UN code of conduct.
There are currently 125,396 personnel serving in 16 peacekeeping operations Under UN deployed in violence hit regions. The peacekeeping mission currently has 106,595 uniformed personnel, of which 8,102 are Indians.
The other largest contributors of uniformed personnel to the UN are Pakistan, which has more than 8,750 in UN operations and had four substantiated sexual exploitation cases, and Bangladesh with over 9,000 personnel and two such cases.
There were a total of 64 substantiated cases of sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers in the period 2009-13, according to the report.
According to the report, besides outright violence and rape, many cases involved troops providing gifts to women and girls, exploiting their poverty. In some of the instances, the women were given food and supplies for babies and in others, gifts like jewelry, clothing and electronics.
The report lacked specific information about the incidents, except for one case against Pakistani police personnel in Haiti involving the abduction and rape of a 13-year-old boy.
The peacekeepers have been accused of child sex abuse again in fresh cases, a UN spokesperson said yesterday.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic was informed of the allegations on Friday and notified the country whose troops allegedly committed the abuse on Saturday. He refused to name the country.
He said the alleged abuse took place in the capital, Bangui. It could go back to 2014 and have continued this year, he said.
A UN bulletin in 2003 banned transactional sex by peacekeepers because it could compromise the UN's credibility.