Piracy is defined by The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies as an “act of boarding or attempting to board any ship with the apparent intent to commit theft or any other crime and with the apparent intent or capability to use force in furtherance of that act.”
And it is estimated that from 1995 to 2009, around 730 persons were killed or are presumed dead, approximately 3,850 seafarers were held hostage, around 230 were kidnapped and ransomed, nearly 800 were seriously injured and hundreds more were threatened with guns and knives. (See paper by Rob de Wijk).
In November 2009, CEPS held a European Security Forum seminar, in collaboration with the Institute for Strategic Studies, the Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, to focus on the issue of Somalia and the Pirates, chaired by Francois Heisbourg.
Four eminent specialists in this field: David Anderson, Rob de Wijk, Steven Haines and Jonathon Stevenson looked at the links with Somalia, and the historical, legal, political and security dimensions of the troubling success of piracy in today’s world. Their conclusions and recommendations for future action are brought together in this ESF 33 Working Paper.