The UN received 44 allegations of sexual abuse in all peacekeeping and special political missions so far in 2016 even as no Indian soldiers faced any charges of misconduct, according to the latest update on abuse allegations against peacekeepers.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters here yesterday that for 2016, the number of allegations recorded so far in peacekeeping and special political missions is 44.
Indian peacekeepers maintained their clean record of serving with dignity and conduct in peacekeeping missions with no reports of allegations of sexual exploitation or abuse against them so far this year.
In 2015 also, when 69 allegations were recorded against peacekeepers, no Indians was accused of any wrongdoing.
This year reports of sexual exploitation and abuse have been made against uniformed personnel from Congo, Niger, Morocco, South Africa, Benin, Bangladesh and Burundi.
India has strongly maintained that instances of sexual abuse and exploitation by UN peacekeepers are “abhorrent and repugnant” and has underscored that it has a zero tolerance policy on such cases.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin had said in March during a Security Council meeting on ‘UN Peacekeeping Operations: Sexual Exploitation and Abuse’ that India has contributed its troops because it sees peacekeeping as a “shining example” of the international community’s commitment to collective security.
Dujarric added that there is an update on the progress being made on key initiatives, including the vetting of all individuals being deployed for any prior misconduct and the establishment of Immediate Response Teams to gather evidence following reports of sexual exploitation and abuse.
The UN has set up a Trust Fund for victim assistance in March, and the first pledge to that fund has been made by Norway in the amount of USD 125,000, and the UN encourages others to contribute as well.
Three investigations have been completed, two involving military personnel and one involving civilian personnel.
These allegations were substantiated and were reported in the UN Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), he said.
The UN said 41 investigations are ongoing, of which 11 are being conducted by troop contributing countries.