News / Africa

Report Analyzes Human Cost of Somali Piracy

The MV Pacific Express, which was set on fire by suspected Somali pirates, is towed by Kenya Ports Authority, Sept. 21, 2011.
The MV Pacific Express, which was set on fire by suspected Somali pirates, is towed by Kenya Ports Authority, Sept. 21, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
A new report says Somali pirates held more than 1,200 hostages last year and that 35 of them died.

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) issued the report, "The Human Cost of Piracy 2011," on Friday.

The report says about 4,000 seafarers were attacked by pirates and close to 1,000 came in close contact with them as they boarded their ships. More than 1,200 people were held captive by pirate gangs last year, about half of them since 2010. Some people have been held by pirates for more than two years.

The report, written jointly by Kaija Hurlburt of One Earth Future for the NGO's Oceans Beyond Piracy project, and the IMB, says 35 hostages died last year. Eight of them were killed by pirates after being taken captive. Some died from disease or malnutrition during captivity and some were killed during rescue efforts when they were used as human shields. About half of the hostages were subject to abuse and about 10 percent were tortured. Nearly all of those released suffered psychological consequences and needed help.

Most of the hostages were natives of the Philippines, China and India. Although the number of captured hostages declined last year, the deprivation and violence they faced remained high.

The report urges government, businesses and stake holders to take the plight of captured seafarers seriously and better prepare for possible pirate attacks.

The report is based on information from the flag states of Liberia, the Marshall Islands, Panama and the Bahamas, various ship owners and operators, former hostages, and the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Program.

Marcel Arsenault, chairman of the One Earth Future Foundation and one of the sponsors of the report, said piracy is a systemic problem that proliferates from a failed state. He said that the desperate situation in Somalia continues to breed piracy and also exacts a huge cost on Somali society. He says the piracy will ultimately be solved only by a new global initiative to create jobs and improve governance.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid