ISWAN’s Regional Director South Asia, Chirag Bahri, represented ISWAN at a strategic meeting held by the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) in Copenhagen on 27th and 28th May 2019.
Dignitaries from foreign offices, maritime administrations, law enforcement agencies, non-governmental organisations and others met to discuss and strategise the way forward for the contact group and its work mandate. The meeting took place alongside another event: Uncovering Hidden Maritime Crimes – Consequences for the Shipping Industry.
Speaking at the meeting, Chirag Bahri reminded members that seafarers who had suffered due to Somali piracy incidents in the past still await justice. Many of the perpetrators of crime, especially pirate kingpins, have not been booked and the process to track money trails needs to be expedited. It is possible that with suppression of piracy off the coast of Somalia, these criminals could have been involved in other maritime crime affecting seafarers and the shipping industry. ISWAN’s Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) provides humanitarian support to seafarers and their families affected by incidents of piracy, armed robbery or hostage-taking.
During his visit to Copenhagen, Chirag Bahri also met with officials from the Danish Maritime Authority and the Danish Shipowners’ Association, and visited a couple of major shipping companies based in the city. He discussed ISWAN’s work around mental wellbeing, including training courses and guides on mental health for seafarers, and an emotional support helpline.
The Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) is the instrument by which the international community plans, coordinates and steers the fight against Somali piracy. It is the nodal point of the large counter-piracy network, and it brings together and connects hundreds of actors representing states, international organisations, industry associations, naval missions and counter-piracy projects. To find out more about the contact group, visit www.lessonsfrompiracy.net.