Bangladeshi Rapid Action Battalion is accused of enforced disappearances of hundreds of people, including many opposition activists and leaders.
Families of victims of enforced disappearances allegedly perpetrated by an elite Bangladesh paramilitary group have called on the UN to ban the security force from serving as peacekeepers.
They made the call on Friday, a day after 12 international rights groups including Amnesty International made similar demands to the UN Department of Peace Operations in a letter to UN Under-Secretary General Jean-Pierre Lacroix.
The move is designed at adding pressure on Bangladesh authorities, especially its powerful military and police, after rights groups blamed the elite Rapid Action Battalion for gross human rights violations.
They say the RAB enforced disappearances of hundreds of people, including many opposition activists and leaders.
"If Secretary General (Antonio) Guterres is serious about ending human rights abuses by UN peacekeepers, he will ensure that units with proven records of abuse like the Rapid Action Battalion are excluded from deployment," said Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F Kennedy Human Rights.
READ MORE: How Bangladesh police are hounding families of ‘enforced disappearances’
UN to "look at" the claims
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Thursday that the letter from the 12 rights groups would be looked at.
The UN has a "stringent human rights screening policy that applies to individual units from every country. But we obviously have been taking very seriously what is being done," Dujarric told reporters.
The RAB, which draws officers from the armed forces and police, has come under intense pressure in recent weeks after the United States last month slapped sanctions against it.
READ MORE: HRW calls for UN probe, sanctions over Bangladesh 'enforced disappearances'