The Episcopal Church-related Seamen's Church Institute (SCI) has become involved in efforts to block the operations of Somali pirates.
Recent attacks on shipping by the pirates have attracted worldwide attention. There are currently 280 merchant mariners from 14 ships being held hostage by pirates in Somalia, according to a news release from SCI. Between January and September of this year, 581 merchant mariners have been taken hostage and nine were killed by pirates worldwide.
Seaman's Church Institute, a New York City-based ecumenical mariners' agency affiliated with the Episcopal Church, has worked on issues of piracy for over two decades -- recording cases, providing assistance to victims of these cases, and advocating to international organizations for tough standards to reduce instances of hijacking.
Douglas B. Stevenson, director of SCI's Center for Seafarers' Rights, recently helped craft an International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA) resolution on piracy. The resolution contains a pledge from ICMA and its member organizations to cooperate in accomplishing anti-piracy initiatives, which includes a promise to support the seafarers and families affected by piracy, SCI's release said.
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And if you are a knitter - click here for a way to make Christmas warmers for seafarers.