Bangladesh: Shipping Industry’s Dark Conscience

Old ships are towed to the beaches of Chittagong, Bangladesh, where poorly paid laborers break them apart for scrap.  This hazardous job endangers workers and contaminates the coast.

ELAW partner and Goldman Prize winner Rizwana Hasan at the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association has worked tirelessly to protect the human rights of ship breakers and safeguard fragile beaches.

Read about Rizwana’s work in the current issue of Shippingwatch: “The Shipping Industry’s Dark Conscience” (see page 24).

Reporter Katrine Gronvald Raun shares these alarming facts:

  • 70-80 percent of the global fleet ends its days in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India.  During the last three years, 519 ships have been scrapped in Bangladesh, and 70 ships are currently being taken apart on the country’s beaches.

ELAW has worked with Rizwana for more than 16 years. “She is a champion of the people and the environment,” says Mark Chernaik, ELAW Staff Scientist.

We will keep you informed of our work helping Rizwana seek justice for communities and the environment in South Asia.


Maggie Keenan
Communications Director & Fellows Program Coordinator
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide