GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

Family Name:
First Name:
Ghulam Muhammad
Title of Paper:
Irregular Migration to the Gulf: The Case of Pakistan
Paper Proposal Text :
Since 1970s Pakistan has been a major supplier of its labour to the Gulf region. This across-the-border mobility, which is temporary in nature, requires not only recruitment of labour at origin but also their placement in overseas job market, following the rules and procedures set for their legal entry and employment. Pakistan has made all institutional arrangements and legislations necessary for the recruitment and placement of its labour in an overseas labour market. However, despite these arrangements, irregular migration is not uncommon among Pakistani workers in the Gulf - the cases of deportation of irregular migrants from the region and human trafficking/smuggling have often been reported in the press. However, there is a dearth of information about the magnitude of irregular migration, types of irregularity, reasons for its happening and the adequacy of legislations and policies for its control. This chapter aims to fill this knowledge gap by using an historical approach, based on a conceptual framework that irregular migration takes place because of a mismatch between the number of persons wishing to work in the Gulf region and available opportunities for legal migration as well as continuity in overseas job. Opportunity-seeking migrants may take the risk of overstay, switching of their employers/sponsors or runaway to maximize benefits of overseas employment, while survival-migrants, because of high cost involved in legal emigration, are vulnerable to human trafficking and smuggling. Rationalization and reduction in the cost of migration, implementation of recruitment rules and protection of migrants’ rights in overseas job market can play key role in controlling irregular migration in the Gulf region.