Tag Archives: Pakistan

Lawyers Targeted in Terror Attack

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,” is a famous line uttered by a rebel in William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 2. While on its face the quote expresses an extreme distaste for lawyers, it has also been interpreted to praise lawyers as protectors of the rule of law who guard against a totalitarian government. That interpretation is ever more applicable today in light of the recent pre-planned attack on lawyers in Pakistan by Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a Pakistani terror group, which killed more than 70 people, including as many as 60 lawyers.

The attack happened at a hospital where a group of lawyers had gathered to mourn the loss of the Baluchistan Bar Association president, Bilal Kasi, who was shot and killed on his way to court earlier that day. According to Ali Zafar, president of the Pakistan Supreme Court Bar Association, “We [lawyers] have been targeted because we always raise our voice for people’s rights and for democracy.” Despite the attack, the lawyers vow to continue their work protecting the rights of the Pakistani people.

Ship Breaking – Unsafe Working Conditions on the Beaches of Bangladesh

Today’s post comes from guest author Kit Case, from Causey Law Firm.

Today’s post was shared by Kit Case and comes from www.gCaptain.com.

 

Cargo Ships on Beaches…Really?

By On August 30, 2013
 

A perspective on ship recycling and how to end beaching 

Like most other things, ships don’t last forever. After 25-30 years they are no longer commercially usable and therefore taken out of service to be dismantled. The materials are recycled to a lesser or greater extent – since a large cargo vessel may consist of 20-40,000 tons of steel, they clearly have a market value as steel scrap.

The vast majority of ships are taken to India, Pakistan or Bangladesh to be scrapped on the beach. There is something quite wrong with that.  People in flip flops on beaches are OK. But people on beaches wearing flip flops and no safety gear while taking apart massive cargo ships with hand tools is simply wrong.

Unsurprisingly, ship breaking is one of the most dangerous industries. According to the EU Commission, it is six times more likely to die at work in the Indian shipbreaking industry than in the Indian mining industry, and according to a recent report from Sustainalyitics, 1,000 people died in the Bangladesh ship breaking industry over a 10 year period.

[Read the rest of the article…]

Photo: Shipbreaking at Alang. Photo: IMO, via www.gCaptain.com

Factory Fires in Pakistan Are A Painful Reminder Of Safety Oversights

A recent fire at a Pakistani garment factory is reminiscent of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire

The fires in two clothing factories in Pakistan on August 12, 2012, where locked exit doors and lack of safety inspections helped fuel the flames of death for over 300 people, has similarity with the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York (147 deaths) in March of 1911, and the chicken factory fire in Hamlet, N.C.  (54 deaths) in 1991. Both sites had locked exit doors that trapped workers. Two brothers owned the Triangle factory and two brothers owned the factories in Pakistan. Garment workers jumped to their deaths in New York and workers in Pakistan were forced to jump out of upper-floor windows to try to escape the flames.  It was reported that Punjab province safety inspections were abolished in 2003 to develop a more “business friendly environment,” and the Hamlet factory had never been inspected in 11 years of operation.

The latest news is that the factories that burned in Pakistan were allegedly inspected just weeks before the fires by Social Accountability International (SAI), a nonprofit monitoring group that gets much of its financing from corporations. Western companies (like Gap and Gucci), who make clothes in Pakistan and other countries where the labor is cheap, relied on SAI to give them some peace of mind about working conditions, but the total failure of SAI to do it the job is evident. Either it was sleep walking while doing inspections and just going through the motions, or it was just a front for major corporations.

In the United Sates, as we strive to downsize government in the years ahead, we need to keep in mind that government regulations concerning safety must be enforced. If not, safety everywhere will become an issue  – on the highway, in the products we use and the food we eat – and we may similarly find ourselves, or a family member, trapped in a deadly situation, with no way out.