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Maritime Industry and Human Rights: Shipbreaking

Naquib Hossain (cc-by-2.0)

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.

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Article
12 December 2005

End of Life Ships: The Human Cost of Breaking Ships

Author: Greenpeace & International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

Shipbreaking...is a dirty and dangerous business. Almost all of the vessels condemned for breaking contain hazardous substances such as asbestos, oil sludge, paints containing lead, other heavy metals like cadmium and arsenic, poisonous biocides as...

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Article
27 December 2005

Why India can’t stop toxic ships

Author: Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times [India]

One of the world's most poisonous dead ship[s], Clemenceau will probably not be stopped by the Indian authorities when it reaches Alang in mid-January...The ministry of environment and forest rules stipulate that vessels made of toxic material like...

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Article
12 January 2006

Egypt asks toxic ship for proof

Author: BBC News

Egypt has asked for proof from a French warship, on its way to a breaker's yard in India, that it is not carrying toxic waste breaching the Basel Convention... Greenpeace says India is not equipped to deal with the asbestos-lined warship's toxic waste...

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Article
8 February 2006

France ready to take back waste of "toxic" ship [India]

Author: Reuters

France would be ready to take back toxic waste removed from a decommissioned carrier if India's top court allowed the ship to be scrapped in an Indian shipyard, the French envoy said...Environmental groups like Greenpeace have opposed the entry of the...

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Article
14 February 2006

Bangladesh merchant makes offer for asbestos-laden SS Norway

Author: AFX News

A Bangladeshi scrap merchant said he is offering to buy ocean liner SS Norway, which is crammed with asbestos for 12 mln usd, despite warnings from the government it will not allow the vessel to be broken up here. [refers to Jiri Subedar Ship Breaking...

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Article
17 February 2006

Clemenceau returns, but health and safety blight remains [India]

Author: International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU)

The aircraft carrier [Clemenceau], containing tonnes of asbestos and many other hazardous substances, was due to have been broken at the Alang ship-breaking yard in India, however decisions by Indian and French judicial authorities led to the French...

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17 February 2006

India: France recalls decommissioned aircraft carrier Clemenceau, that was going to be dismantled in India, over concerns for environmental and worker safety - Greenpeace welcomes move

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Story
24 March 2006

Poland: Welders from No. Korea working in Gdansk shipyard - Korean Govt. threatens their families with labour camps if they leave

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12 May 2006

Indian Supreme Court temporarily denies entry of "toxic" cruise liner SS Norway, pending review by new ship recycling committee

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Article
29 June 2006

Where ships come to die: While the business is a profitable one for many Asian workers, it's also a deadly one [India & Bangladesh]

Author: Associated Press

The conditions [in Indian ship-breaking yards] that so quickly turned the Chinese- and Canadian-owned luxury liner into a deathtrap...are stirring a worldwide controversy that has stung the Indian government into taking action and led to the drafting...

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