ITF launches e-petition vs piracy

June 6, 2010 11:47 am 

MANILA, June 6 – As part of its efforts to curb the piracy menace in Somalian waters, the International Transport Federation (ITF), a coalition of land and sea transport workers, has launched a worldwide e-petition demanding concrete actions against the pirate syndicates that are threatening to strangle the international merchant marine fleet with its incessant attacks.

The e-petition is worded to persuade all governments to commit the resources needed to end the increasing problem of Somalia-based piracy.

It is intended to deliver at least half a million signatures to governments by World Maritime Day this coming Sept. 23.

The petition calls on nations to dedicate significant resources and work to find real solutions to the growing piracy problem; take immediate steps to secure the release and safe return of kidnapped seafarers to their families and work within the international community to secure a stable and peaceful future for Somalia and its people.

As part of efforts to promote the campaign, the organization has set up specific pages on the ITF seafarers’ website where visitors can sign the petition, find out more about piracy and read real life case studies.

John Bainbridge, ITF seafarers’ department, said: “In recent years, we have seen an upsurge in piracy, particularly with attacks originating from the coastal regions of Somalia."

In 2008, for example, almost 100 ships were attacked and more than 500 seafarers taken hostage.

By 2009, the number of ships attacked increased to 217, with 47 vessels and 867 crew taken hostage. This is a growing problem that needs to be tackled urgently.”

Bainbridge further said that seafaring personnel interest to sign the petition and voiced their concern can surf to express their support for the ITF project. (PNA)



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