Project Factsheet
Tools for » Piracy-A-077 INTERPOL Hostage
Project ID:00097462Description:Piracy-A-077 INTERPOL Hostage
Counter Piracy Trust Fund
Start Date *: 16 Dec 2015
Prosecution and Detention
End Date*: 30 Nov 2018
Country: United Nations Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   IMO - International Maritime Organiz

1.      Brief Description


Incidents of maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia increased in both frequency and geographical locations throughout 2008, 2009 and 2010, continued in 2011 and then began decreasing in 2012. As of 1 May 2015, approximately 26 seafarers were reported still being held by pirates under extremely difficult circumstances. With funding from the Trust Fund to Support Initiatives of States Combating Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (the Trust Fund), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) established in October 2012 a joint programme to provide medical care, accommodation, food, clothes and welfare items to the isolated groups of hostages during the release phase and to support them in returning home swiftly.

However, problems relating to the debriefing of hostages, information gathering and sharing still persist. Many of the released hostages are debriefed several times by different organizations, without these organizations sharing the information or coordinating the purposes of debriefs. This results in information being lost, or corrupted, and in confusing and/or alienating the hostages. Thus a more coordinated and holistic approach is needed in order to cover the different aspects of, and purposes for, information gathering in order to assuage the needs of law enforcement, industry, humanitarian aid and - very significantly - securing information that could lead to the release of other hostages in the future, and which can be utilized by policy makers, industry, and other stakeholders to brief seafarers prior to transit through the High Risk Area for Somali piracy. 

INTERPOL’s role in combating maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia has been recognized  in a number of United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) (1950, 1976 and 2020), and recently in Resolution 2077, which inter alia urges States, in cooperation with INTERPOL and Europol, to further investigate international criminal networks involved in piracy off the coast of Somalia, including those responsible for illicit financing and facilitation, and to make their citizens and vessels available for forensic investigation as appropriate at the first suitable port of call immediately following an act or attempted act of piracy or armed robbery at sea or release from captivity.[1]

The ICC-CCS through its International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC) is the only single reporting point for ship Masters and their owners to report incidents of piracy and armed robbery occurring worldwide and has the capability to identify and locate these crews who could then are debriefed by competent authorities.

[1] Paragraph 29, Chapter VII of the Charter of the UNSC resolution 2077(2012)

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