IOM and NCHR Urge Direct Investment to Address Root Causes of Irregular Migration

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Islamabad, 21 May — Supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, the National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched a report titled “Perilous Journeys: Unravelling Irregular Migration from Pakistan.”

The report examines the landscape of irregular migration originating from Pakistan, highlighting the distinction between human trafficking and migrant smuggling, and shedding light on the drivers of migration, gaps in policy and legislation, and associated human rights abuses. According to the report, while Pakistan was not among Europe’s top ten countries for migration in 2022, it became the fifth most prominent by mid-2023, with arrivals reaching 8,778 in December. Currently, a significant portion of Pakistan’s population, particularly in urban areas, expresses a desire to leave the country.

The report identifies economic opportunity as the primary driver of migration from Pakistan, with factors such as job availability, access to education, and social networks influencing destination choices.

Federal Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar, the Chief Guest at the event, praised the report, noting that such studies are crucial for guiding efforts to curb irregular migration, a significant global issue. He emphasized that it is primarily the state’s responsibility to provide an environment where citizens can envision their future in the country. However, he added that creating this environment requires the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders.

Speaking at the launch, NCHR Chairperson Rabia Javeri Agha noted the complexity of deterring irregular migration, stressing the importance of addressing its root causes. “By addressing the underlying factors driving migration and ensuring the protection of migrants’ rights, we can work towards creating a more secure and prosperous future for individuals and communities affected by irregular migration,” she said.

IOM Chief of Mission, Mio Sato, remarked, “This report is not merely a diagnosis; it offers a roadmap for change. The recommendations outlined provide a blueprint for action, from establishing dedicated awareness units to fostering labor migration channels. We must work together – government, civil society, and international partners – to address the root causes of irregular migration and ensure the protection of those most vulnerable.”

The report provides comprehensive operational and policy recommendations to address irregular migration, offering clear guidance on legal responsibilities. It calls for a multifaceted approach involving collaboration among government agencies, civil society organizations, and international stakeholders to ensure safe, orderly, and regular migration.

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