The Definitional Ambiguities of Kidnapping and Abduction, and its Categorisation: The Case for a More Inclusive Typology

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Abstract

This article sets out to provide a broad overview of the ways in which kidnapping and abduction can be contextualised and understood. First, it will review kidnapping and abduction by examining the varying definitions used by practitioners, academics, governmental organisations, non-governmental organisations and private sector interests. Second, a discussion of related offences, including piracy, hostage-taking, hijacking, tiger kidnap, express kidnap and state-sponsored rendition, and others is undertaken. Third, there will be an examination and review of the various typologies that have been suggested by researchers in the field, culminating in the suggestion of a revised and comprehensive typology.

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