Piracy has resulted in significant human and economic costs globally. The Security Council first recognized piracy as a threat to international peace and security with regard to Somalia in Resolution 1816 (2008), mandating that States would be allowed to enter the territorial waters of Somalia and use “all necessary means” to repress acts of piracy and robbery at sea. In Resolution 2018 (2011), the Council also recognized the threat of piracy off the Coast of Guinea, but rather, mandated regional entities and law enforcement strategies to ensure security. More than any other thematic topic, piracy has spurred a debate of greed versus grievance: the use of violence by pirates and high ransoms, for both ships and maritime personnel, have authorized the use of force against pirates and robust law enforcement strategies; however, underdevelopment married with illegal dumping by large international shipping companies have also been cited as root causes.
In this vein, the NGOWG WPS advocates for the investigation of gender dynamics and impacts of piracy, with a particular emphasis on monitoring and reporting the use of sexual exploitation and abuse of women and girls in areas controlled by pirates. Women have been significantly marginalized in Security Council reports on piracy, with only Resolution 2184 (2014) making references to women. The NGOWG WPS requests Member States to focus on women’s protection needs, with a particular emphasis on sexual and gender based violence, in all counter-piracy activities.