Ship Breaking

Bangladesh is the home to one of the world’s biggest ship recycling yards and it dismantled about 50% of the ships sent to scrap yards globally. The ship breaking industry of Bangladesh is located about 15-20 kilometres from the second biggest city of Chittagong. At present there are 125 ship breaking yards along the Sitakunda coastal zone. Bangladesh Ship Breakers Association listed about 138 ship breakers as their members in their websites while survey states that there are 50 shipping companies directly engaged in the ship breaking activities of Chittagong, Bangladesh.

This industry, which employs thousands of people supplies to all Bangladeshi steel mills.Ship breaking workers in Bangladesh are exposed by hazardous materials without any proper knowledge of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and workers’ basic rights.

Over 30,000 ship breaking workers in Bangladesh-including many children-have been forced to work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week dismantling giant cargo ships, while being paid just 22 to 32 cents an hour. It is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.

On average, one ship breaker is needlessly killed every two to three weeks, and serious injuries occur every day. Using hammers and their bare hands, children break apart the asbestos inside the ships and carry it out in their bare hands to dump in the water.

To develop a better and healthy working environment in the ready-made garment BLF is working on the following issues

Promotes workplace safety to save lives, prevent injuries, and protect the health of the workers

Reach out to unorganized workers and promote OHS in both shipbuilding and shipbreaking

Formulate solidarity platform to fight against the growth of precarious work in the sector and to defend shipbuilding-shipbreaking workers rights

Developing OSH Management System and OSH policy

Ensure social security of the workers

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