More than 2.4 lakh Pakistanis have been deported from across the world between 2012 and 2015, reveals an International Labour Organisation (ILO) report.
Titled Labour Migration from Pakistan: 2015 Status Report, made some worrying but startling revelations on Pakistan's labour market including an increase in illegal traficking and smuggling of migrants.
Based on data from the Federal Investigation Agency of Pakistan, the report says that a total of 2,42,817 Pakistanis were deported between 2012 and 2015. Of them, more than half of the deportations took place from Saudi Arabia (131,643), followed by United Arab Emirates (32,458) and Islamic Republic of Iran (28,684) and Oman (13,1643).
Interestingly UAE and Saudi Arabia constitute 80 percent of the total international migration that takes place from Pakistan. No doubt, "after India, Pakistan annually sends abroad the second-largest grouping of workers in South Asia, mainly to the Gulf region", the report says.
Referring to statistics on deportations between 2007 and 2015, the study claimed that "deportation is continuing to increase", however, it warned that these trends might be "indicative of an increase in the trafficking of persons and the smuggling of migrants".
According to the report, migration from Pakistan is very region-centric, though. Based on data from the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment (BEOE), at the district level, "more than 50 percent of Pakistanis migrated from only 20 districts in 2014 and 2015, with a heavy concentration coming from northern Punjab Province, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and Karachi in Sindh Province and couple of districts in southern Punjab", the report said.
As for the reasons of deportation, the reported pointed out that "most of the individuals deported from Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates were job-seekers and businessmen, and those deported from the Islamic Republic of Iran were in transit to Greece". Deportations from GCC countries are attributed mainly to security-related issues, it added.
According to a report highlighting the ILO report, Dawn said, "From 2005-06 to 2014-15, around 932,051 migrant workers were stranded in destination countries due to lack of proper documentation and thus deported. The largest number of stranded Pakistanis at 882,887 was deported from Jeddah, followed by Doha and Qatar at 4,200."
Around 14,628 migrant workers were detained in jails in destination countries during the said period, while consulate officials or community welfare attaches made 4,200 monitoring visits to the employment sites of the migration workers, the news report added. Most of the visits were made in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (1,863), followed by Kuwait (652), Manama, Bahrain (496) and Seoul, Republic of Korea (400), the ILO report said.
Though not directly linked, the report points out that "direct employment is increasing" wherein "friends and relatives who are already working abroad are becoming more active in helping aspiring migrants to obtain a job and work visa".
Though Europe (barring Italy) didn't even feature in the top 10 favoured destinations, it featured a considerable number of deportations from countries like Greece (14,145), and United Kingdom (9,778).