Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Kidnap risk list prompts ransom reminder

THE Australian Government has reiterated its stance not to pay kidnappers to release Australian hostages, as it reissued its list of high-risk locations across the world.

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said today the Kidnapping Threat Worldwide bulletin identifies Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, eastern Malaysia (Sabah), southern Philippines, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and parts of north and west Africa as being areas of particular concern.

"It also advises Australian travellers that some recent kidnappings have been ideologically motivated, resulting in hostages being killed for propaganda purposes," she said.

"Journalists and humanitarian workers are especially at risk owing to the nature of their work.

"It is the government's long-standing policy to not make payments or concessions to kidnappers so as not to increase the risk to other Australians of further kidnappings."

Ms Bishop said the government may be severely limited in its ability to assist in areas where kidnapping is a particular threat due to the inherent risks in these locations.

"Having made a decision to enter a high-risk zone, it is the responsibility of the individual and their employer to undertake their own security assessment and implement their own risk management plan," she said.