Bangladesh: A Study in Western Colonial Exploitation

Scrapped

RT (2015)

Film Review

Scrapped is a documentary about the shipbreaking industry in Chittagong, which dismantles and reclaims the vast majority of the world’s ships. The second largest industry in Bangladesh, it produces enormous profits, given the country has no metal resources of its own.

Located in the poorest region in Bangladesh, the industry pays an average wage of $3 a day. Owners seem oblivious to national child labor and workplace safety laws, with 13 workers killed on the job in 2013 and 12 in 2015. As the mayor of Chittagong runs his own shipbreaking yard, the city is quite lax about legal enforcement.

After paying a yard manager a substantial bribe, cameramen are allowed to film inside one shipyard for three minutes.

Otherwise filmmakers rely on a local “human rights” activist for most of their information. The latter receives a €2,500 annual grant from the European Union to monitor worker safety in his city’s shipbreaking yards.