ITF launches antipiracy campaign
Delegates from the International Transport Workers Federation meeting in Berlin on Wednesday launched a campaign to persuade all governments to commit resources to end the increasing problem of Somalia-based piracy.
The group also voted “to support the inclusion, where appropriate, of armed military personnel on ships in addition to the commitment by flag states of naval vessels,” but said ITF remains firmly opposed to the arming seafarers. ITF also said it's gravely concerned by attempts to prevent the payment of ransoms, and considers it the duty of ship owners and flag states to take all necessary measures to swiftly reunite seafarers with their families when they are held hostage.
Seafarers' delegates at ITF meetings in Germany authorized the federation to build a campaign to deliver 500,000 signatures to governments by World Maritime Day, Sept. 23. They will call on government to “close the circle on protection of ships, and for those states now ducking their responsibilities to stand up and follow the example of those which are actively involved in combating the threat.
“It is unforgiveable that the major flag of convenience states have done little more to fight piracy than sign pieces of paper. They have taken no other concrete action, nor have they used their flag state jurisdiction to enable the prosecution of any pirates,” the labor group said.