Costa Cruises has released the follow statement following (ridiculous) claims by Italian media:

Costa Cruises categorically denies the news published by some Italian websites regarding the possible presence on board Costa Concordia of unregistered underage workers.

The accusations raised against the company that it exploits unregistered or underage labour are vile and baseless. Costa is SA8000 certified and was the first shipping company in the world to submit voluntarily to social responsibility certification. Costa Cruises has maintained this certification since 2004, ensuring the maximum possible protection with regard to:

●     child labour, not only for the Company, but also its suppliers, who have to certify they do not use child labour;

●     gender parity;

●     religious parity;

●     ethnic parity; and

●     pay parity according to the type of work performed.

Costa Crociere is closely monitored by US certification entity Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS), which developed and oversees SA8000 certification, and is audited twice a year by RINA.

All crew members who work on board Costa Cruises ships have a regular contract of employment. The pay conditions of all personnel on board Costa Cruises ships are regulated by first and second level employment contracts signed with Flag State trade unions affiliated to the ITF (International Transport Federation workers).

Costa Cruises guarantees payment of salaries based on current legislation, verifying that they are sufficient to ensure a dignified standard of living for the whole family.

With regard to working conditions on board, the Company clarifies that the crew members on board Costa ships are accommodated in single cabins with private bathroom, twin cabins with private bathroom, and twin cabins with bathroom shared with another twin cabin. All cabins have comfortable beds and furniture, television and DVD player.

As regards the accusation that there were unregistered guests on board Costa Concordia, Costa Cruises reiterates that every single person on board is registered, both crew and passengers. It is impossible for someone to gain access to the ship without authorisation by the security officer and registration. Strict controls are in place. The embarkation process, depending on the port, involves controls by the various port entities to gain access to cruise terminals and entranceways. On board security personnel control access points to check that those wishing to board the ship have the necessary documents.

The list of people on board Costa Concordia, which has always been in the company’s possession, has also been made available to the authorities in charge of rescue operations, including the total count of people.

Costa Crociere reserves the right to assess the appropriate action to take to defend itself.