Piracy off the Coast of Somalia
HC 1318, Tenth Report of Session 2010-12 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons - Foreign Affairs Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
'Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (HC 1318)' discusses how Somali piracy poses a threat to the UK's national interests as well as global trading routes and international security.
The costs of allowing piracy to proliferate are high. The British shipping industry is worth £10.7 billion to the UK's GDP, and the costs of security, insurance and re-routing have vastly increased the costs of doing business. Over $300 million has been paid in ransoms to Somali pirates over the past four years and thousands of seafarers have been held hostage, some of whom have been subject to cruel treatment and even torture.
Self-defence measures, multi-national naval operations and prosecutions have begun to take effect, but have not yet contained the problem. The major international conference on Somalia in February 2012 must produce results. Although private armed guards will be permitted on UK shipping, the Government's guidance on the use of force, particularly lethal force, is very limited and there is little to help a ship's master make a judgement on where force can be used.
The Committee also expresses surprise that so little is known about what happens to ransom money.
The solution lies in establishing order on land, ending impunity for piracy crimes and offering alternatives. However, the report warns against international claims to deliver a solution in Somalia, and urges the Government to develop its engagement with and support for Somali civil society organisations and local projects.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office should also review its communication and other procedures to support family members of British hostages held abroad.
|Format||Paperback||Published||05 Jan 2012|
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