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India ratifies Hong Kong Convention

Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan and Turkey are world’s the top five shipbreaking countries, accounting for more than 98 per cent of the global shipbreaking by gross tonnage.

On 28 November, the largest one, India, ratified the International Maritime Organization-IMO’s the Hong Kong Convention for the Safe Recycling and Environmentally Sound of Ships.

The Hong Kong Convention will only enter into force when:

  • At least 15 states have ratified it
  • The merchant fleets of the ratifying states account for 40 per cent of global gross tonnage
  • The ratifying states have recycled at least three per cent of their combined tonnage over the past ten years

With India’s ratification, the number of states required has now been reached.

Approximately 10 per cent of the tonnage and 0.4 per cent of the recycling volumes need to be added before the Convention can enter into force.

IndustriALL has intensified the campaign to clean up shipbreaking, often labelled the most dangerous job in the world, lobbying major maritime states. The industry has a responsibility to provide, and workers have a right to expect, safe, healthy, clean and sustainable jobs.

Kan Matsuzaki, IndustriALL director for shipbuilding and shipbreaking, says:

“The Hong Kong convention sets out a minimum and is a first step towards creating a level playing field for a sustainable future. India is taking its responsibility; now it’s time for China, Bangladesh and Pakistan to ratify the convention.”

V.V. Rane, Vice Chairperson of IndustriALL’s Shipbuilding and Shipbreaking Sector as well as leader of India’s largest shipbreaking union, ASSRGWA, says:

“ASSRGWA has organized workers at the world’s largest ship recycling yard in Alang. With the ratification, workers’ rights will be protected and there will be room for social dialogue. The industry will also aim to be sustainable.

“We congratulate the government of India for ratifying the Hong Kong Convention.”


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