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Maritime Crime and Piracy  

Maritime Crime and Piracy
Last Updated: Jul 14, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
Maritime Crime and Piracy Print Page

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Maritime Crime Programme (MCP)

Maritime crime poses a serious threat to the safety of seafarers, international trade and regional stability. It includes not only criminal activity directed at vessels or maritime structures, but also the use of the high seas to perpetrate transnational organized crimes such as smuggling of persons or illicit substances. These forms of maritime crime can have devastating human consequences.

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Maritime Crime Programme: Divisions

Indian Ocean Division

The Indian Ocean Division of the UNODC Maritime Crime Programme assists states in the Indian Ocean region to enhance and coordinate their efforts to combat maritime crime, with a focus on criminal justice capacity building.

Horn of Africa Division

The waters off the Horn of Africa offer great opportunity for sustainable, Somali-driven employment and development. However, after decades of conflict and instability, these waters have become a haven for piracy and armed robbery at sea, illegal fishing, human trafficking and the smuggling of charcoal, illicit substances, weapons and migrants.

West Africa Division 

In 2014 the Maritime Crime Programme expanded its work beyond the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean to address maritime crime challenges in West Africa, specifically in the Gulf of Guinea region.



Cover Art
Maritime Terrorism and Piracy in the Indian Ocean Region - Awet T. Weldemichael (Editor); Patricia Schneider (Editor); Andrew C. Winner (Editor)
Call Number: 347.799.4(267) M37 [9909]
ISBN: 9781138850644
Publication Date: 2015-03-19
Unregulated or lesser regulated maritime spaces are ideal theatres of operation and mediums of transportation for terrorists, insurgents and pirates. For more than a decade, the Indian Ocean waters adjoining Somalia have been a particular locus of such activities, with pirates hijacking vessels, and Al Qaeda and Al Shabab elements travelling between Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, operating lucrative businesses and even staging deadly operations at sea. However, these operations and threats remain, by and large, understudied. Responses to the two threats have varied, highlighting the lack of cohesive regional and global institutions with the mandate and the capacity to address them. Those scholarly deliberations on Indian Ocean maritime security focus on piracy and armed robbery at sea, while their terrorist/insurgent counterparts have eluded sustained scrutiny. This volume will help close that gap by looking at both from the field in Somalia and Yemen, within broader frameworks of regional maritime security and port-state control, international maritime law and the ongoing search for maritime resources. The European, African and Middle Eastern case studies add salience to the regional and international complexity surrounding maritime security off the Horn of Africa. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of the Indian Ocean Region.

Cover Art
Pirate Trails - Stuart Yikona
ISBN: 9780821399637
Publication Date: 2013-09-10
Traditionally piracy has produced sentimental notions of adventure, freedom, and independence. However, piracy is a criminal act and often involves high levels of violence that can have a devastating impact on the victims. 21st century piracy has evolved into a highly complex system involving a cast of characters, each motivated by a mix of economic and social reasons. While the focus of the international community has been on dealing with piracy through counter piracy operations that include naval, air, and military operations, this book attempts to understand the illicit financial flows from the proceeds of piracy and to espouse the cause for the detection, disruption, and confiscation of proceeds from acts of piracy.

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Piracy and Maritime Terrorism - S. Ciotti Galletti (Editor)  Icon
ISBN: 9781614990420
Publication Date: 2012-04-15
This book is based on the proceedings of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop, held in 2009 in Lisbon, Portugal. Its main purpose was to promote dialogue on the phenomenon of maritime piracy and to provide a response to the need for research and analysis at an international level on maritime piracy and its connection to terrorism. The book does not simply report on the proceedings of the workshop, but also includes some new topics not covered by the ARW, and is organized in three sections: new methodological approaches to maritime threats; new threats and new challenges in piracy and maritime terrorism and lastly some selected case studies. The book offers qualified ideas, opinions and talking points to the international practitioner community, will foster debate and help law enforcement agencies and policymakers to face the new world wide maritime threats of piracy and terrorism.

Cover Art
Pirate State - Peter Eichstaedt  Icon
ISBN: 9781569763117
Publication Date: 2010-10-01
Are the Somali pirates a legion of desperate fisherman attacking cargo ships and ocean cruisers to reclaim their waters? Or is piracy connected to crime networks and the madness that grips Somalia? What threats do pirates pose to international security? To answer these questions, Peter Eichstaedt crisscrosses East Africa, meeting with pirates both in and out of prisons, talking with them about their lives, tactics, and motives. He discovers that piracy is a symptom of a much deeper problem: Somalia itself.

Cover Art
The International Response to Somali Piracy - Bibi Van Ginkel (Editor); Frans-Paul Van der Putten (Editor)  Icon
ISBN: 9789004183056
Publication Date: 2010-09-24
The recent surge in piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia has triggered an international response which is unprecedented in terms of the number of actors involved. The International Response to Somali Piracy presents a comprehensive treatment of the international response to Somali piracy, exploring current initiatives to counter the piracy threat, both operationally and legally. Moreover, the book analyses the regional and broader international context within which these initiatives are taken, and identifies the challenges and opportunities for international cooperation on fighting piracy at sea.

Cover Art
Ocean Piracy - Jacob E. Nelson (Editor)  Icon
ISBN: 9781607414957
Publication Date: 2010-01-01
This book explores the increase in pirate attacks off the Horn of Africa which is directly linked to continuing insecurity and the absence of the rule of law in war-torn Somalia. The absence of a functioning government in Somalia remains the single greatest challenge to regional security and provides freedom of action for those engaged in piracy along the Somali coast. This book consists of public documents which have been located, gathered, combined, reformatted, and enhanced with a subject index, selectively edited and bound to provide easy access.


  • Studies in Conflict & Terrorism  Icon
    Studies in Conflict and Terrorism aims to cast new light on the origins and implications of conflict in the 21st Century and to illuminate new approaches and solutions to countering the growth and escalation of contemporary sub-state violence.
  • Maritime Studies  
    Maritime Studies is an international peer-reviewed journal on the social dimensions of coastal and marine issues throughout the world. The journal is a venue for theoretical and empirical research relevant to a wide range of academic social science.
  • Maritime Policy & Management  Icon
    A multi-disciplinary and international refereed journal, Maritime Policy & Management brings together papers on the different topics that concern the maritime industry. Emphasis is placed on business, organizational, economic, sociolegal and management topics at port, community, shipping company and shipboard levels. The Journal also provides details of conferences and book reviews.
  • Trends in Organized Crime  Icon
    Trends in Organized Crime presents a composite of analyses and syntheses of research on organized crime, drawn from a variety of sources. It publishes peer-reviewed, original research articles and excerpts from significant governmental reports. The contents also include reviews of important new books and presents analysis and commentary on current issues in organized crime.
  • Journal of Transportation Security  Icon
    The Journal of Transportation Security probes the relevant aspects of many critical areas of study, including supply chain and logistics; information technology; public policy; international business; political science; engineering; transportation; economics; and counterterrorism, among others. This journal is the first to take a global, apolitical, and in-depth multidisciplinary look at the field.

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