The Ship Lifecycle - Embedding Human Rights from Shipyard to Scrapyard

Briefing, 04 June 2019

Maritime industry sustainability initiatives have generally prioritised environmental issues, with limited focus on human rights. Yet human rights issues are germane across the entire lifecycle of a ship – from design, planning and ordering, through building and operation, to breaking/recycling. There are widely documented cases of egregious abuses occurring within the sector, and as yet, no overarching human rights framework to support better due diligence throughout a ship's lifecycle. This briefing presents human rights risks that actors involved in ocean transport may face throughout a ship’s lifecycle and provides some good practice examples for shipping companies, operators, business customers and investors seeking to align with relevant international standards.

The briefing focuses in particular on cargo and bulk ocean transport, and draws on standards set out in the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Hong Kong Convention on the Recycling of Ships.

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