Legal regulation of the shipbreaking industry in Bangladesh: the international regulatory framework and domestic implementation challenges

Shawkat Alam, Abdullah Faruque*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Shipbreaking is the process of dismantling an obsolete vessel for scrapping or disposal. This activity was not officially declared an industry in Bangladesh until 2006, even though the country is one of the biggest ship-breakers in the world. This industry has dramatically expanded in Bangladesh, at the cost of environmental degradation and severe labour exploitation. Despite environmental and human rights violations, the shipbreaking industry represents a vital source of income for the country and a livelihood for a significant portion of its population. Shipbreaking activities in Bangladesh present both opportunities and challenges for Bangladesh. This article examines the extent to which the existing regulatory framework for dealing with these issues in Bangladesh is congruent with international instruments. This article also examines relevant international instruments which prescribe the core principles for regulating the ship breaking industry and evaluates the legal regulation of the Bangladesh ship breaking industry against these international instruments. The underlying objective of this evaluation is to demonstrate that Bangladeshi instruments could incorporate the core of the international instruments to minimise the environmental damage caused by this industry. This article concludes that Bangladesh should either amend its laws or enact a new legislative scheme that is based on the core values of the Basel Convention. This change is vital if Bangladesh wants to ensure a long lasting industry that could serve its need for iron ore and engage its abundant labour force, without the cost of destroying its coastal line which is one of its most valuable natural assets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-56
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Policy
Volume47
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

Keywords

  • Bangladesh
  • Basel Convention
  • Environmental pollution
  • Hazardous waste
  • Recycling of ships
  • Ship breaking industry

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