Good Practice Guide for Shipping Companies and Manning Agents

Humanitarian support of seafarers and their families in cases of armed robbery and piracy attack.

“Piracy and armed robbery continue to threaten the international shipping community. Despite diplomatic,
military and other initiatives by governments and their agencies, and protective measures and other actions
adopted by shipping companies, ships are still attacked and seafarers put at risk as they go about their
legitimate business.

While acknowledging the actions of governments, the United Nations, the International Maritime Organization,
and the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, it is recognised that more needs to be done to support seafarers and their families. Over 5,700 seafarers have been taken hostage in various incidents globally since 2007. In some cases the seafarers have been subject to prolonged captivity.

Every day more than 100,000 seafarers experience anxiety while sailing in, or towards, dangerous waters. Their families share these worries too, often with a feeling of helplessness.

Appropriate preparation provides benefits, increasing the resilience of seafarers exposed to incidents of piracy and armed robbery, and informing a correct awareness of the situation for seafarers and their families. Although piracy is defined in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as distinct from armed robbery, for the purposes of this guide the term ‘piracy’ is used throughout.”

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