The Centre on International Migration, Remittances and Diaspora (CIMRAD) was established in 2014 by the Lahore School of Economics and is the first institute of its kind in Pakistan. The Centre specializes in the study and analysis of international migration and its social and economic consequences –with a focus on the diaspora and the flow of remittances.
According to the estimates of the United Nations in 2019, there were 272 million international migrants. Between the years 1990 and 2019, the number of international migrants increased by more than 77% (an increase of 119 million migrants), with most of this growth having occurred between 2000 and 2010. Pakistan is a net emigration country and is listed as the 6th largest net emigration country in the world. Labour migrants, especially to the oil-rich Gulf countries, are a vital component of overall migration from Pakistan, and numbered about 11 million during 1971-2011.
Total remittances to developing countries are estimated by the World Bank at US $550 billion in 2019, that outweigh the total development assistance and are in fact much greater than foreign direct investment to developing countries (excluding China). Pakistan received an amount of $21 billion as remittances in the year 2019 which are equivalent to over 7.9% of its GDP in 2019. These remittances are contributed by the strong and dispersed Pakistani diaspora, estimated to be 9.2 million according to the Government of Pakistan but may well be much higher.
Total remittances received by Pakistan are almost equal to its total export earnings and its diaspora abroad is an important source of demand for its export products (including fruits, food products, and high-end furniture and clothing). In view of their increasing importance, it is vital to identify and suggest policy measures aimed at maximizing these remittance inflows through official channels and making best use of them for economic development.
While remittances can be beneficial to a country, international migrants can create a loss of skilled labor for their home country. For their host countries, migrants can create cultural tensions. For labor migrants themselves, they can face labor exploitation. These complex social, economic, and cultural issues will all be explored through the lens of CIMRAD’s research.
Team: Dr. Rashid Amjad, Dr. Nasra Shah, Dr. Fareeha Zafar, Ms. Almazia Shahzad and Ms. Maham Hameed.

CIMRAD Advisory Board

Prof. Dr. Andrew Geddes
Migration Policy Centre,
European University Institute,
Florence, Italy.

Mr. Manolo Abella,
Co-chair, KNOMAD,
Thematic Working Group on Low-Skilled Labor Migration,
World Bank.

Dr. Ibrahim Awad,
Center for Migration and Refugee Studies,
American University in Cairo.

Dr. G. M. Arif,
Ex-Joint Director,
Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE),
Islamabad, Pakistan.

Prof. Phillipe Fargues,
Co-Scientific Director,
Gulf Labour Markets and Migration Programme.

Piyasiri Wickramasekara,
Global Migration Policy Associates.

Title page PMR

Pakistan Migration Report 2020 
Centre on International Migration, Remittances and Diaspora

Lahore School of Economics, 2020


The Pakistani Diaspora: Corridors of Opportunity and Uncertainty
Edited by Rashid Amjad

Lahore School of Economics, 2017

Available from Lahore School of Economics (Price: Rs. 750)


The Pakistani Diaspora in UK: Evolution, Integration and Challenges
by Laraib Niaz & Sidla Nasir

Working Paper 01-2018, CIMRAD, Lahore School of Economics.


The Pakistani Diaspora in North America
by Naimal Fatima

Working Paper 02-2018, CIMRAD, Lahore School of Economics.


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