Shipowners are ignoring industry leaders and human rights and environmental organisations by continuing to profit from dangerous shipbreaking practices on South Asian beaches in 2015, said the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, of Brussels.
Its report in February said 768 oceangoing ships were sold for scrap last year. “469 were broken up on the beaches of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh where shipbreaking yards do not provide fundamental labour rights, ignore international waste trade law, and fail to respect international environmental protection standards,” said Patrizia Heidegger, NGO Shipbreaking Platform director.
“Despite a lot of international attention on the problems of shipbreaking on the beaches of South Asia, the statistics for 2015 show that the vast majority of ship owners have not changed their practice for the better.
“On the contrary, most have opted for one of the worst shipbreaking destination in the world, Bangladesh, where children are still illegally exploited to break ships manually on tidal mudflats.
“Shipowners sell their ships to South Asian yards via cash-buyers, companies that specialise in the trade of end-of-life tonnage. Cash-buyers promise ship owners not only the highest price, but also to rid them of their responsibility to properly deal with the end-of-life of their ships.”