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MERCENARIES IN WAR ZONES: FAQ



  Jun 21, 2024

MERCENARIES IN WAR ZONES: FAQ



Who are mercenaries?

Mercenaries are individuals recruited to fight in armed conflicts primarily for personal gain, without being nationals of or officially sent by a party to the conflict. They are not entitled to prisoner-of-war status.

What has happened to Indian nationals in Russia?

Indian nationals have been lured by promises of lucrative jobs and have ended up fighting in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Nearly 100 Indians were recruited by the Russian Army under misleading conditions.

What is India’s response?

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is seeking the return of Indian nationals from Russia. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed cases against individuals and companies involved in trafficking Indians to Russia.

How are mercenaries regulated internationally?

• Geneva Conventions: Basic definition of mercenaries.

• Organization of African Unity Convention: Broader definition including civil wars.

• UN International Convention: Criminalizes mercenary activities and promotes inter-state cooperation.

What are the limitations of the current framework?

• Lack of Clear Definition: No universally accepted legal definition of mercenaries.

• Domestic Laws: Many countries do not criminalize mercenary activities.

• Private Military Companies (PMCs): PMCs operate in legal gray areas.

How can India protect its migrant workers?

• Pre-Travel Approval: Implement pre-travel approval for conflict zones.

• Public Awareness: Educate the public on risks and ensure strong vetting processes.

• Policy Framework: Develop robust policies to address distress migration and human trafficking.

What are some comparative measures?

• Bangladesh: Adopted ethical recruitment principles.

• Nepal: Banned travel to Russia and Ukraine for employment due to safety concerns.




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