Asna Afzal

Document Type



This Note examines the economic and legal implications of developing nations’ membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO). Specifically, the article analyzes Pakistan’s labor reforms subsequent to its membership in the WTO. The Note first provides a historical background of Pakistani membership in the WTO. Next, the Note discerns that despite the lack of established WTO labor standards, developing nations face pressure to implement labor reforms incidental to trade liberalization policies. The author argues that the pressures imposed on lesser-developed countries (LDCs) such as Pakistan have, as of yet, spawned only superficial labor reforms. The final section of the Note suggests that whether or not the WTO chooses to set labor standards in the future, international trade commitments must adequately account for the economic and legal constraints of LDCs in order to spur lasting labor reform.