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Chapter Summary

The ship scrapping industry has the distinction of being one of the most dangerous and exploitative occupations in the world. Lack of health and environmental protection measures means that there is no possibility for containing the toxins that are released into the marine environment. There must be an international legal regime that harmonises ship recycling industries commercial interests, minimising market distortions, while safeguarding human rights and environmental considerations. Such a legal framework should be built on four elements: economic viability, social progress, equity, and environmental justice. Greater cooperation among the players is the key to a sustainable regime for ship recycling. The recently adopted Ship Recycling Convention, supplemented by IMO initiatives, provides a platform to facilitate this. Even though ship recycling plays a vital role in ridding the oceans of obsolete and hazardous tonnage, it does not have to come at the cost of human lives and environmental degradation.

Keywords: environmental protection; human rights; IMO; international legal regime; marine environment; Ship Recycling Convention; ship recycling industries

10.1163/ej.9789004174917.i-290.35
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