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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 ng publikasyon



International Labor Organization



Mga Keyword

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

Pang-ekonomiyang sektor

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

Mga Uri ng Nilalaman

Policy analysis and Suporta ng mga hakbangin

Target na mga grupo

Mambabatas, Pampublikong Kamalayan, Mananaliksik, and NGO / komunidad group / network ng pagkakaisa

Regulasyon lugar

Remittances at co-unlad ng mga programa, Pangangalap ahensya at mga pamumuhunan, and Mekanismo para sa pagsasauli ng nagugol ng migration

Geographical kaugnayan


Spheres ng aktibidad

Ekonomya, Karapatan, and Socioligie