UN report mentions 64 cases of sexual abuse involving peacekeepers

A UN report says that between 2010 and 2013, there were 64 cases of sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers, and Indians were involved in three such cases of sexual exploitation or abuse during that period.

However, the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) that looked into allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping operations noted that the countries who were the largest contributors of troops to the UN, such as India, had lower incidence of cases of abuse.

Pakistan has committed more than 8,750 soldiers in UN operations, with its personnel, involved in four substantiated cases. Bangladesh, with over 9,000 personnel, had two such cases.

South Africa, with 2,160 troops recorded 9 cases. Uruguay with nearly 1,500 personnel had eight such cases. Britain, with about 300 personnel serving in UN operations, had one substantiated case.

The report didn’t give specific information about all those cases, except for one against Pakistani police personnel deployed in Haiti involving the abduction and rape of a 13-year-old boy.

The report highlighted that besides outright violence and rape, there were many cases of troops providing gifts to women and girls, and exploiting their poverty. Some women were given food and supplies for babies and gifts like jewelry, clothing and electronics.

The report also maintained that many countries have been reluctant to take appropriate actions when complaint of sexual exploitation and abuse were reported. In a previous case recorded in 2008, involving Indian peacekeepers in Congo, India ordered 12 officers and 39 soldiers to undergo DNA test to determine if they had fathered children with local women.

Currently, more than 100,000 uniformed personnel are deployed in several UN peacekeeping operations, with India accounting over 8,000 personnel.

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