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Pakistan’s National Emigration Policy A Review




Globally, policies regulating cross border movements have changed extensively. During last few
decades, the global labor market maneuvering due to internal and external economic shocks,
political resentments in hosting countries and changing skill demands drastically influenced the
labor immigration policies of receiving countries. Once encouraging expatriates by opening their
borders, now the labor hosting countries consider their immigration levels very high and are
attempting to lower the numbers of ‘un-wanted’ expatriate workers by making working
environments un-attractive for immigrant workers already employed. This situation has led to
negative implications for the living as well as working conditions of immigrant workers,
especially those with limited education and low level skills. These conditions are particularly
affecting a large segment of Pakistani emigrant workers, mainly in Gulf countries.
However, despite all these difficulties, remittances sent by Pakistani emigrant workers are a
major source of this country’s economic life line. Yet, evidence also shows negligible progress in
the lives of emigrants’ families who are left behind and lack of government development
initiatives to acknowledge their hardships. There need to be substantial changes in national
policies and management systems for better protection of the vulnerable in the migration process.
In this context, this paper aims to evaluate Government of Pakistan’s proposed National
Emigration Policy (GoP 2009) to assess the extent of the policy compliance with the rights and
concerns of emigrants and their family members. The structure of this paper consists of four
main sections. Section 1 provides briefly the global and specifically Pakistani emigration
scenario. Furthermore, in this section information on vulnerabilities of emigrants and their
families also gives an insight about the current situation. The contents of this part are important
as they set the scene for the construction of the analysis for the review of Pakistan’s Emigration
Policy draft. Section 2 of this review provides overview of forthcoming policy. The three subsections
categorically outline the genesis/rationale for the Emigration Policy formulation and
specifics about the current and future emigration prospects and strategies for intending Pakistani
emigrants with protection and welfare measures for emigrants and their family members. Section
3 examines the contents of proposed Emigration Policy. Section 4 offers a set of proposals to
address the issues identified in order to strengthen and improve the country’s national emigration

Number of pages



Sustainable Development Policy Institute

Place published


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Pakistan, Review emigration policy

Economic sectors

General relevance - all sectors

Content types

Support initiatives

Target groups

Policymakers and Researchers

Regulation domains

Labour standards

Geographical focuses

China, Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Pakistan

Spheres of activity