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Lawless Cruise Ships

Researched by Kerry Headley and Michael  Seraman

Opposition is growing to the expanding and largely unregulated cruise industry as the dangers to public safety and environmental integrety are revealed by environmentalists, local activists, passengers and workers. Activists in Mexico, which is the world’s most popular cruise destination for US and Canadian tourists, reported that coastal communities have seen their natural environments transformed and their local resources reallocated to accommodate ever-bigger cruise ships. Additionally, it is difficult to hold cruise lines accountable for both poor working conditions and passenger safety. Cruise lines based abroad that run out of the US employ 150,000 workers from developing nations who are not protected by US labor laws and report low pay, long hours and squalid living quarters. Passengers who report shipboard crimes stand virtually no chance of seeing the violation prosecuted because authorities have limited jurisdiction in international waters. Cruise ships are slow to investigate mayhem that would undermine their festive image.

“Dark Side of the Tourist Boom: Cruise Ship Controversies Cross Borders” Kent Paterson, CorpWatch, 7/9/2008 http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=15125

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