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Imprima y guarde


Recruitment of Pakistani Workers for Overseas Mechanisms, Exploitation and Vulnerabilities




G.M Arif


Pakistan has annual migratory out-flow of more than 150,000 workers to different countries in the Middle East, but primarily to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. More than 60% of migrant workers originate from only 20 of the country’s 110 districts. The majorities of migrants obtain their foreign employment contract either through private Overseas Employment Promotes (OEPs) or obtain a direct visa. Moreover, labor migration from Pakistan to the Middle East is almost exclusively male. The inflow of remittances, reaching a peak of US$ 4.6 billion in 2005-2006 and US$4.45 billion in 2006-2007. The government of Pakistan has developed various institutions and rules to govern and regulate the labor recruitment process. Legally Pakistanis can go abroad through three channels: a public agency, private recruiting agent or following direct contract with foreign employers. The study found that about half of the migrants has been recruited by OEPs, while one-fifth had used friends and relatives. Another one-fifth of the respondents had received their visas directly from their foreign employers. About 14% of the respondents had been illegal migrants, including those who stayed on after the Haj/Umra pilgrimage, or who had gone abroad without documentation. Although the Government of Pakistan has taken several steps to make the recruitment system and migration process transparent, there is strong evidence that regulatory measure have not been able to curb all exploitative practices, including organized forms of illegal migration. A set of recommendations is provided on priority areas for further policy and institutional support.

Number of pages


Lugar de publicación



International Labor Organization

Archivos adjuntos


Palabras clave

migrant workers, Workers Rights, Labor migration, Pakistan, recruitment, private employment agency, remittance, return migration, Gulf States

Los sectores económicos

Occupations in services - Domestic work, Sales and service occupations - general, Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations - general, y Otro

Tipos de contenido

Análisis de políticas y Iniciativas de apoyo

Los grupos destinatarios

Legisladores, Conciencia Pública, Los investigadores, y ONG / grupos comunitarios / redes de solidaridad

Áreas de regulación

Las remesas y programas de desarrollo co-, Las agencias de contratación y la inversión, y Mecanismos para el reembolso de la migración

Relevancia geográfica


Esferas de la actividad

Economía, Derecho, y Socioligie