Dec 12

Past Event

The State of Migration in Pakistan

December 12, 2011

4:00 PM - 7:00 PM




Migration has played a significant role in shaping the size and distribution of population in Pakistan.  Since the independence of country in 1947, and up to recent and ongoing conflicts, Pakistan has not only received large numbers of cross-border migrants and refugees, but has manifested growing number of rural people moving towards urban areas as a consequence of poverty and unemployment or displacements by disasters of earthquakes and floods in recent years.

Given the growing population mobility within Pakistan, the study of internal migration is critical to better understand the changes in settlement patterns, and assess its likely effects on the socioeconomic and cultural transformations within the country. The most important issues in internal migration relate to youth migration, especially migration of young women to cities, health and education of migrants, labour and employment, housing, and security.

One major consequence of increasing population mobility within the country is the increased level of urbanisation with most migrant communities living in squatter settlements without infrastructure support and provision of social services, thereby giving rise to urban poverty and related issues of development. While there is increasing recognition that women are also migrants and that the causes and impacts of migration are gendered, evidence on gender dimensions of migration and attempts to mainstream gender issues into policy are patchy. Work has focused primarily on “adding women” as a discriminated and vulnerable group, particularly in relation to displacement due to conflict and trafficking for sexual exploitation. The limited evidence on gender and migration is due to lack of updated data and low priority given to migration related issues at policy level in Pakistan. As such, internal migration has remained a neglected research and policy area in recent decades.

While studies on internal migration situation in Pakistan are mostly based on the analysis of population censuses data and some surveys conducted in the 1980s and 1990s, the evidence available is patchy, often out dated, and lacks analysis on the important inter-linkages between the type and direction of migratory movements and livelihood strategies, income generation opportunities. The socio-economic transformation of individuals and society – an area totally neglected but potentially critical for research and policy analysis in population and development context of Pakistan.  It is unfortunate and surprising no serious effort has been made in the public and private sectors to face the challenges of internal migration and turn in to gainful opportunities.


A consultation has been planned to reflect on the issues of internal migration in Pakistan with reference to youth migration, health and education of migrants, labour policies, employment, and security.

For More Information

RSVP : Nayyer Aftab