2 Learning ObjectiveGain an understanding of the principles and guidance in relation to surviving as a hostageSession will be delivered in relation to the five stages of kidnapping or hostage taking
3 UN Policy Basis No ransom is to be paid No substantial concessions will be madeNo release of prisoners for hostages can be negotiatedHost Government primary responsibility for safety and security of UN personnelDesignated Official overall director of hostage incident, UN response and operations – will not be involved in negotiations
4 UN Response – Hostage Incident Management (HIM) Initiate HIM procedure (convene CMG/COG/FST)Media managementFamily assistanceLiaison with Member States
5 Objectives of HIM Safe release Maintain security of other UN personnel HostagesHostage takersMinimize harmMaintain security of other UN personnel
6 1. CAPTURE (Most critical stage) First minutes most dangerousCaptors “state of mind”:Highly emotionalFight reactionFlight reactionFollow instructionsYour objective – SURVIVE!
7 Control your Fear Fear of death/injury is normal reaction Take a deep breathTry to relaxFear of death/injury is normal reactionRecognize your reactionsAdapt to the situation – surviveThe first few hours - greatest anxiety
8 Hero vs. Low Profile Don’t be a “hero” Don’t “act tough” Accept your situation - cooperate with captorsUnforeseen reaction on your part could result in violent reaction by captor
9 Keep a Low Profile Keep a low profile Avoid appearing to study captors Make mental notes about:MannerismsClothesRank structureNames and facesThis will be useful after release
10 2. Transportation Normally after quick and brutal capture You may be drugged, bound, gagged, blindfolded and/or beatenYou may be forced into the back of vehicles or bootsUse this time – keep active – listen to voices and language – are they angry or calm?Listen/feel for outside noises, direction of travel, stops and other familiar smells or sounds
11 3. Holding You will experience isolation – expect it No clock - day or nightTry to maintain a routineFocus on pleasant scenes, memories, prayersKeep mentally active - try to remember films, book plot
12 Dealing with Isolation Try to maintain sense of humorAsk for things you need:MedicinesBooksPaperThey can say no - but you may get itThink positive!
13 Your Behaviour Be cooperative Obey demands - no antagonism Body language and speechDon’t say or do anything to arouse violenceDon’t argueAct neutralDon’t speak unless spoken to
14 Your Behaviour Speak only when necessary Be a good listener Be patient Don’t make suggestions - they could go wrongRemind captors you are:UN staff – here to help allThe UN is neutralNot involved in politics
15 Your Behaviour Never make threats Encourage captors to tell people on the outside your whereabouts and conditionGain respect as well as sympathyNever beg, cry or pleadCaptor should view you as a human worthy of compassion & mercy
16 Establishing a Rapport with Captors Find areas of mutual interestEmphasize personal rather than politicalGood topics - family/childrenIf you speak captors language - use it - it will enhance rapportBe positive - Stockholm syndrome
17 Signing Notes or Confessions You may be asked to:Sign note verifying your aliveConfession saying your org involved in nefarious activitiesSign/don’t sign ?individual decision – situation dependentRequest changesBolster moraleIncrease captors respect
18 Asked to be Negotiator Volunteer if possible Make sure messages conveyed accuratelyBe prepared to speak on radio or telephone
19 Escape Only try if you are 100% certain you will succeed If caught - your captors might use violence to teach you or others a lesson
20 Health Exercise daily Develop fitness programme and stick to it Stay well groomed and cleanExpect appetite & weight lossTry to drink & eatMaintain your strength
21 4. Termination – Rescue by Force Do not stand up - drop quickly to the floorGet under coverKeep your hands over headWhen appropriate - identify yourselfTalk first -- then move slowly
22 5. Aftermath – Post Release Often feel bitter about treatment received after releaseNeed to tell your story in detailCritical incident stress debriefingEmotional problems - months laterReadjustment takes timePrecondition for healing process - hostage realizes he/she is normal person, having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation
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