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Film throwing light on human cost of piracy to debut at Dubai conference
The Gulf Today
Friday, June 22, 2012

DUBAI: 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. The conference will be held in Dubai June 27-28 and the film will be premiering on day one of the conference.

Since 2007, 3,500 seafarers have been held captive by pirates operating out of Somalia and 62 have lost their lives; today, more than200 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 documentary includes interviews - among many others — 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.”

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.


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