Maritime Industry and Human Rights: Shipbreaking
Shipbreaking is one the world's most dirty and dangerous industries. The vast majority of world's end-of-life ships are broken down - by hand - on the shores of South Asia.
On the one hand, workers, often exploited migrants, suffer loss of life, accidents, and occupational diseases due to unsafe working conditions and exposure to toxic fumes and materials. On the other hand, coastal ecosystems and the local communities depending on them are devastated by toxic spills and other types of pollution from breaking vessels on beaches. As such, the negative consequences of shipbreaking are real and felt by many.
Safer and cleaner methods of ship recycling already exist but until the global community shows leadership and forces toxic ships off the beach, the shipping and shipbreaking industries will continue their race to the bottom.
Related stories and components
Author: World of Work - The Magazine of the ILO
Local businesses and others say the annual breaking of some 700 ships benefits the five nations (India, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan and Viet Nam) where the work takes place these days. But critics claim these countries have become dump sites for the...
Greenpeace holds EU partly responsible for poisoning [comments on ship-scrapping in Turkey; calls on EU to demand its ship industry remove hazardous substances from ships prior to export]
Author: BBC News
At least 13 workers are reported to have died in Dubai after a dry dock flooded with sea water...Officials at Dubai Drydocks, one of the world's biggest shipping repair facilities, said the casualty figures might rise as divers began rescue operations...
Author: L.H. Naqvi, Tribune [India]
A few days ago a deadly explosion rocked the shipbreaking yard at Alang in Gujarat. It killed six persons and maimed several others. Greenpeace...decided to put pressure on the owners of discarded ships to follow the provisions of the Basel Convention...
Shipping company calls for international mandatory regulation to stop deadly effects of toxic ships sent to Asia for scrap
Mediterranean Shipping Company conceded today that international mandatory regulations are necessary to protect workers and prevent environmental pollution at Asian shipbreaking yards.
- Related companies: Mediterranean Shipping Company
Author: Saleem Samad, OneWorld South Asia
The workers here [at Sitakundu ship breaking facility] are allegedly treated almost like slaves, with complete disregard for their health and safety...over the past 20 years, as many as 400 workers at the facility were killed, and more than 6,000...
New Guidelines for Ship breaking Adopted - ILO charts new course for workers recycling a growing fleet of aging ships
Author: International Labour Organization
An international meeting of experts on the ship-breaking industry has taken a decisive step toward improving the safety and health of thousands of workers who perform one of the world' s most hazardous occupations.
- Related stories: OIT: Adoptan directrices para el desguazamiento de barcos
Author: Greenpeace & International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)