On September 26, 2019, a workshop on environmental and labour litigation was held at the Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School of Law (SAHSOL) at LUMS. The session was hosted by Dr. Sara Abraham, a sociologist and lawyer, and Dr. Muhammad Azeem, Assistant Professor SAHSOL. The workshop drew together lawyers, academics and activists from Pakistan and abroad to share ideas on domestic and transnational legal tools that can be used to ensure labour and environmental protection and welfare.
During the event, a variety of issues were discussed. These included: silicosis among stonecutters in Punjab, loopholes in anti-terror laws in Pakistan and the limitations of Pakistan's existing environmental laws. The participants also talked about the lessons learned from litigation over the fire at Ali Enterprises, a garment factory in Pakistan, in 2012 and the collapse of Rana Plaza, a factory in Bangladesh in 2013, as well as the efforts to highlight the environmental and human cost of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in India and Pakistan.
The speakers also pointed out the limitation of public interest litigation in Pakistan, the use of strategic litigation and international soft law measures overseas. They also discussed obstacles in this field, and identified establishing liability across global supply chains and lack of implementation in public interest cases in Pakistan as a major hurdle.