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.

Total remittances to developing countries are estimated at US $550 billion in 2019, outweigh the total development assistance and in fact are much greater than foreign direct investment to developing countries (excluding China). In view of their increasing importance, it is vital to identify and suggest policy measures aimed at maximizing these inflows through official channels and make best use of them for economic development.

According to the World Bank, international migrants from developing countries are expected to send an estimated US $574billion to their home countries in 2020.

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 were contributed by the strong and dispersed Pakistani diaspora, estimated to be 8.8 million according to the Government of Pakistan but may well be much higher. The Pakistani diaspora increases the demand for Pakistani goods worldwide—from exports ranging from basic local fruits to high end clothing brands to media content.

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.

Lead Researchers: Dr. Rashid Amjad, Dr. Nasra Shah and Dr. Fareeha Zafar.

Assisted by: Ms. Almazia Shahzad and Ms. Maham Hameed.


CIMRAD Advisory Board

Professor Andrew Geddes,

Director, Migration Policy Centre,

European Institute University,

Florence, Italy.

Professor Philippe Fargues,

Former Founding Director, Migration Policy Centre,

European Institute University,

Florence, Italy.

Mr. Manolo Abella,

Former Director,

International Migration Programme, ILO.

Dr. Ibrahim Awad,

Professor of Practice of Global Affairs;

Director, Center for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS),

The American University in Cairo (AUC)

Dr Piyasiri Wickramasekara,

Vice President,

Global Migration Policy Associates (GMPA).

Dr. G. M. Arif,

Former Joint Director,

Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE)

Islambad, Pakistan.



Abstracts of International Conference on “The Pakistani Diaspora: Strengthening Linkages Between Host and Home Countries”

CIMRAD, Lahore School of Economics.


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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The Pakistani Diaspora: Corridors of Opportunity and Uncertainty

CIMRAD, Lahore School of Economics.

Pakistan Migration Report 2020 cover

Pakistan Migration Report 2020

CIMRAD, Lahore School of Economics.

News & Events


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