Piracy is a matter of great concern to the international community due to the extensive threat it poses to global security and development. Piracy cases are very complex, and can involve international law, national penal law and civil law. It should be noted that not all States have equal capacity to deal with piracy cases, and to detain and prosecute piracy suspects according to international standards.
UNICRI in partnership with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) have established a database on court decisions related to piracy off the coast of Somalia.
UNICRI is also developing an initiative related to the use of private security contractors on board ships.
The practice of using private security contractors on board ships to protect vessel, cargo and crew from pirate attacks is fast becoming a preferred option for many private companies. There is a need to address several legal issues on the use of private armed personnel on board ships, including a code of conduct for the private sector.
UNICRI, with the support of the Italian Government, is convening the second expert group meeting on the use of privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) with the objective of developing a set of guidelines and standards regarding the use of PCASP on board merchant vessels, for the use of private sector companies as well as Member States.