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Abstract

In a year, about 700 or nearly 1.5% of ships deployed in the oceans are taken out of service. These ships are sold to the scrapyards to recover valuable steel. On average, steel accounts for 95% of the ships mass. Besides steel, the ships contain hazardous substances like asbestos, lead paint, heavy metals and polychlorinated biphenyls. With a rise in the cost of environmental control, and health and safety standards, the developed countries are forced to shift these ships to the scrapyards of developing nations like India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Turkey where the labour wages are low. Estimates show that around one lakh workers are engaged in this business worldwide and are working under miserable conditions with minimal health and safety standards. Although many laws and acts have been enacted on the sidelines of the Basel Convention, the recent one being the International Maritime Organisation Convention, they have failed to deliver any fruitful results. These conventions are more or less like paper tigers with more noise and no action.
Location:
Industry:
Other setting(s):
2008

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Abstract

In a year, about 700 or nearly 1.5% of ships deployed in the oceans are taken out of service. These ships are sold to the scrapyards to recover valuable steel. On average, steel accounts for 95% of the ships mass. Besides steel, the ships contain hazardous substances like asbestos, lead paint, heavy metals and polychlorinated biphenyls. With a rise in the cost of environmental control, and health and safety standards, the developed countries are forced to shift these ships to the scrapyards of developing nations like India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Turkey where the labour wages are low. Estimates show that around one lakh workers are engaged in this business worldwide and are working under miserable conditions with minimal health and safety standards. Although many laws and acts have been enacted on the sidelines of the Basel Convention, the recent one being the International Maritime Organisation Convention, they have failed to deliver any fruitful results. These conventions are more or less like paper tigers with more noise and no action.

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Location:
Industry:
Other setting(s):
2008

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