Source: (2013) Case Western Reserve Journal of International law. 46:235-278.

It has been estimated that approximately one-third of captured pirates are minors, that is, persons under the age of eighteen. This article explores issues of accountability, reintegration, deterrence and rehabilitation in the context of child pirates. It recommends modalities of restorative and reintegrative justice for child pirates that avoid the careless superficiality of immediate release and the retributive heavyhandedness of criminal trials. Regrettably, prevailing imagery that cloaks juveniles enmeshed in international crimes, for example child soldiers, does not favor this middle ground. Instead, this narrative imagery facilitates either perfunctory release (the faultless passive victim image) or criminal trials regardless of age (the demon and bandit image). Unlike the case with child soldiers, however, the position of U.N. entities when it comes to child pirates tends toward greater punitiveness assuredly, a concerning development. In response, and after examining why juveniles may end up in pirate gangs, this article proposes a new path, namely one that leads toward restorative justice initiatives. (excerpt)