The Enduring Challenge of Somali Piracy
Piracy has persisted throughout history across time and location. However, modern Somali pirates operate differently than did pirates from previous eras, requiring a modern response. Somali pirates’ modus operandi involves hijack for ransom, uncommon among other pirates throughout the world in present or historical times. This change in scope also requires the international legal definitions to change accordingly, from the first international law put forward by the UN. While early methods attempting to annihilate pirates were effective, the use of force to eliminate them today would defy important international standards in human rights on land and at sea. Alternatively, control through the combined activities of a range of institutions and actors leads to more effective outcomes. Reviewing historical methods for controlling pirates has revealed a recurring theme: to disrupt piracy networks, international cooperation is paramount.