The death toll for the dual factory fires in Pakistan currently stands at more than 300. In large part, this heavy loss of life was due to corruption and a failure to implement labour laws. I wrote about this for the Guardian last week:
Pakistan is a country with an enormous gulf between rich and poor, and an undue amount of influence wielded by a small number of industrial families. The country functions on a deeply entrenched web of patronage and vested interests, meaning that there is little interest in workers’ rights and little motivation to change the status quo. Corruption exists at every level, from bribing local officials to overlook an illegal building, to influencing government policy. The civilian regime is weak, and according to labour activists, regulation has deteriorated even further in the past few years along with a general decline in governance.
It was one of the most-read pieces on the site over the weekend. You can read the full piece at the Guardian.
This week, I’ve also reviewed Antony Lerman’s book “The Making and Unmaking of a Zionist”. The review is over at Middle East Monitor.