Trade unions have painted a bleak picture for miners in Pakistan, where astonishingly 14 miners have already lost their lives this year as a consequence of accidents and jihadist massacres. Local and national governments in Pakistan have been accused of a “terrible dereliction of duty” which leads as the unions argue to the preventable death of workers.
2020 was a blood soaked year for Pakistan’s miners, with over 200 workers paying the ultimate price for attempting to put a meal on their family’s table. Unfortunately, 2021 does not indicate that it will be any different, as 14 workers have already died as mentioned above. Of these tragic deaths, 11 of them were cold blooded murder, carried out by ISIS in an attempt to terrorise the marginalised Hazara community. As the majority of mining in Pakistan is carried out in remote areas they are very often areas that are poorly policed and the state is rarely present, meaning that massacres like these are very hard to prevent.
As for the other three men who tragically lost their lives as a result of accidents, Pakistani mines are notorious for their terrible health and safety regulations. Campaigners and trade unions have consistently urged the Pakistani government to adopt convention 176 of the International Labour Organisation which they believe is one major way to tackle the problem of health and safety in Pakistani mines, which while unsolved will doubtlessly cost many more people their lives.