International Travel Protection
The Office of Risk Management now offers international travel protection coverage. For a nominal fee, a kidnap and ransom endorsement can be added to your policy in the event you or a member of your staff or volunteers will be taking a trip to a high-risk country.
As more of our parishes and institutions engage in international mission-related activity, personal safety when traveling has become a major concern. The incidents of kidnapping for ransom are on the rise in many countries, especially in the Third World. In general, there are three types of kidnapping scenarios:
Traditional kidnapping is when a victim is held over a period of time while the kidnappers contact the victim's family or employer and ask for a large ransom in exchange for the victim's release. This type of kidnapping often involves advanced planning by the kidnapper and surveillance of the victim.
Express kidnapping is when victims are abducted, robbed and taken to an ATM where they are forced to withdraw and hand over their money. These victims are usually chosen at random.
Virtual kidnapping is when a family member or employee is contacted and falsely told that the victim has been kidnapped and money is demanded. Victims may be targeted in advance or selected at random.
Kidnap and Ransom Prevention Guidelines
A kidnap for ransom scenario should be part of your parish's or institution's crisis management planning if you routinely send staff or volunteers abroad. Organizations should inform employees/volunteers traveling to at-risk countries about the risks involved, how to mitigate the risks, and what to do in worse case scenarios.