Bangladeshi men looking for work often end up doing one of the world’s most dangerous jobs:
Oceangoing vessels are not meant to be taken apart. They’re designed to withstand extreme forces in some of the planet’s most difficult environments, and they’re often constructed with toxic materials, such as asbestos and lead. When ships are scrapped in the developed world, the process is more strictly regulated and expensive, so the bulk of the world’s shipbreaking is done in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, where labor is cheap and oversight is minimal.
Industry reforms have come in fits and starts. India now requires more protections for workers and the environment. But in Bangladesh, where 194 ships were dismantled in 2013, the industry remains extremely dirty and dangerous.