Islamabad, November 25 (NIA): Nearly 250,000 Pakistanis were deported from various countries during 2012-2015, says the Pakistan Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development.
The report Labour Migration from Pakistan: 2015 Status Report shows that a total of 242,817 Pakistanis were deported over a three year period. It was in 2014 that deportation was highest with 73,064 being deported.
Most of the individuals deported from Saudi Arabia and the UAE were job seekers and businessmen. Deportations from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries were mainly linked to security-related issues, the report said.
From 2005-06 to 2014-15, around 932,051 Pakistani migrant workers were stranded in various countries due to lack of proper documentation.
The largest number of stranded Pakistanis (882,887) was in Saudi Arabia, followed by Doha and Qatar.
Around 14,628 migrant workers were jailed in destination countries during the said period.
Here are some statistics for the period 2012-15:
Saudi Arabia: 131,643; United Arab Emirates: 32,458; Iran: 28,684; Oman: 17,248; Greece: 14,145; Britain: 9,778; Malaysia: 8,861
The report pointed out that around 513,231 individuals were deported from different countries from 2007 to June 2015, which suggests an upward trend over time. It is an indication of an increase in human trafficking.
A United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) study has found that the majority of irregular migration involved migrants originating from Punjab, especially from, Gujranwala, Mandi Bahauddin, Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan and Sialkot.
With a huge working-age population in Pakistan, an increasing number of workers are moving to other countries for employment. After India, Pakistan annually sends abroad the second-largest grouping of workers in South Asia, mainly to the Gulf region. Pakistan relies heavily on labor migration as an avenue for reducing both unemployment and poverty.
Figures for the first ten months of 2015 show that skilled and unskilled workers were the dominant categories, at 42 per cent and 39 per cent, respectively, followed by semi-skilled (at 16 per cent), highly qualified (at 2 per cent) and then highly skilled workers (at 1 per cent).
The annual placement of Pakistanis increased from 143,329 in 2005 to 431,842 in 2008. After a decline during the following two years, it reached 458,229 migrant workers in 2011 before jumping to 639,601 workers in 2012 and 753,841 workers in 2014 (figure 1). During the first ten months of 2015, a total of 774,795 migrant workers left Pakistan.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates share an interesting trend in the past 15 years. Both countries have accounted for 80 per cent of all Pakistani migrant through the formal channel.
(The featured picture at the top shows a Pakistani worker doing a risky job in Dubai)