Shipbreaking is the process of dismantling an obsolete vessel’s structure for scrapping or disposal. Conducted on a dismantling yard, it involves a wide range of activities. From removing all the gear and equipment that are on the ships to cutting down and recycling the ship’s infrastructure. Shipbreaking is a challenging process, due to the structural complexity of the ships and the environmental, safety and health issues involved . Due to cheaper labour costs and fewer health and safety regulations that have to be followed, the developing world hosts the vast majority of ship breaking efforts.
Muhammed Ali Shahin, Program Manager of YPSA explains the dangers of shipbreaking in Bangladesh at National Geographic Channel.

4 killed and three others injured by toxic gas

Four workers were killed and three others injured when a gas cylinder exploded at a ship-breaking yard in Sitakunda of Chittagong on April 3, 2014. The incident happened when the victims were dismantling a scrap ship. All the four died from inhaling carbon dioxide. With this, the death toll over the last two years at ship-breaking yards in the port city rose to 44. Since February 2012, at least 35 accidents have taken place, leaving dozens of ship-breaking workers wounded. Read more...

Two illegal ship-breaking yards evicted after five years 

A joint team of district administration and forest department on 24 February 2014 evicted two ship breaking yards which were set up by destroying coastal forest in Sitakunda upazila of Chittagong five years back. SK Steel and SK Ship Breaking and Recycling were able to lease the land illegally in 2009, chopped down thousands of mangrove trees and started importing old ships for breaking on the beach. On 6 October 2013, the Supreme Court of Bangladesh declared the yards illegal, ordered them to be evicted and the trees to be replanted. Read more...

Bangladesh shipbreaking still dirty and dangerous with at least 20 deaths in 2013

Bangladeshi member organisations of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a global coalition of human rights, labour rights and environmental organisations seeking to prevent hazardous shipbreaking practices, called upon the business and government stakeholders in Bangladesh to join forces and ensure clean and safe ship recycling. During the National Strategy Meeting of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, all members stressed that the shipbreaking industry as well as the Government of Bangladesh were doing too little to protect people and the environment from the harmful impacts of shipbreaking activities. Read more from FIDH

We all know how ships are born, how majestic vessels are nudged into the ocean with a bottle of champagne. But few of us know how they die. And hundreds of ships meet their death every year. From five-star ocean liners, to grubby freighters, literally dumped with all their steel, their asbestos, their toxins on the beaches of some the poorest countries in the world, countries like Bangladesh. You can't really believe how bad it is here, until you see it. It could be as close as you'll get to hell on earth, with the smoke, the fumes, and the heat.
Bob Simon, CBS News, on 60 Minutes

“NGOs and media have been campaigning for so many years on this shipbreaking issue and they’ve never urged an end to the industry. They simply urged for national and international labor and environmental laws to be respected and enforced. If somebody is saying that NGOs want to stop shipbreaking then we have to assume that the yard owners and international players of shipbreaking want to avoid the compliance issues by blaming NGOs." Read more on The Good Men Project.

Death Trap!

15 workers were killed in 2012 Details...

90 workers died in last 7 years 9 months, more than one worker died on an average per month at the shipbreaking yards in Bangladesh. Details...

A cartoon from the Daily Star on government vs shipbreakers A Two Day VisaSayeda Rezwana Hasan The Goldman Environmental Prize
Child breaking Yard cover pageEnd of life ship cover pageImpact Costal Zone cover pageBaseline survey cover page

NGO Platform on SHipbreaking Bangladesh Ship Breakers Association (BSBA)

Winner Manthan Award South Asia National Digital Innovation Award

Off the Beach.

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Logo of YPSAMake a donation From 1997 YPSA tries to obtain improved working conditions at ship breaking yards of Chittagong, Bangladesh. YPSA organized social campaign program to raise the voice of the mass people about ensuring of the workers’ rights and save the environment and ecology from the pollution that generated from the unsafe and uncontrolled ship breaking practices. Read more