Powerful Film Highlighting The Human Cost Of Piracy To Debut At Counter-Piracy Conference


Since 2007,  3500 seafarers have been held captive by pirates operating out of Somalia and 62 have lost their lives; today, more than 200 seafarers  are still being held, often beaten and tortured, with no contact with their loved ones, while hundreds of seafarers are
preparing to sail through waters where the pirates operate.

The very real human impact of piracy on seafarers and their families is told in a documentary made especially for the second Counter-Piracy Conference convened by the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and DP World, to be held in Dubai June 27- 28, premiering  on Day One of the conference.  It includes interviews with two seafarers held captive for 11 months and their families, with a captain about to set sail through waters where pirates operate, and with the daughters of a captain who was hijacked with his crew more than 19 months ago and who is still being held.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World Chairman said: “The terrible impact of piracy on the lives of seafarers and their families is often buried in a debate that includes discussions about security guards on board vessels, the rising costs of piracy to shipping and trade, and where pirates should be tried and imprisoned.  While that debate is necessary and important, we should not lose sight of the appalling humanitarian cost that directly affects seafarers who sail into a nightmare as they go about their daily work.”

Mohammed Sharaf, Group CEO, DP World, said: “The extending geographic range of pirates’ attacks and the increasing levels of  violence are extremely alarming, not just because of their adverse implications for commercial and security interests of nations, organisations and those involved in trade, but most importantly because of the human lives impacted. DP World commissioned this documentary to raise awareness of that issue.

“The areas patrolled by pirates are the busiest trade lanes in the world, and an estimated 100,000 seafarers sail through those areas annually.  With this moving documentary we aim to stimulate debate to help find a sustainable solution to the root causes of piracy,” Mr Sharaf said.

The International Conference, to be held under the title “A Regional Response to Maritime Piracy: Enhancing Public-Private Partnerships and Strengthening Global Engagement”, will build on current global efforts to address the challenges of pirate attacks on ships, including its devastating human cost, and ways to enhance efforts to address the root causes that have led to piracy in Somalia and other places.

According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), as many as 43 pirate attacks were carried out by Somali pirates in the first quarter of 2012. The  IMB estimates annual financial cost to global trade is up to US$12 billion.





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