Legal and labour migration are central topics for Pakistan and have been identified as a priority by the current government. As part of the overall support structure for intending and outgoing migrants, and with support of ICMPD, Pakistan’s Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (MOPHRD) and the Department of Labour Punjab host and run the Migrant Resource Centres (MRCs) in Islamabad and Lahore. They provide counselling, community awareness raising, pre-departure orientation and information on education and work opportunities abroad to students. This shall help empower people to take informed decisions on their migration trajectory.
In order to ensure that MRC counsellors are themselves up to date with the latest information on legal migration, ICMPD held a training for MRC Counsellors at the end of March 2019. The counsellors learned more about the Pakistani labour migration regime, trends and migrants needs from Dr. Arif, a renowned national scholar, as well as about the links to irregular migration, human trafficking and migrant smuggling from Steve Harvey an international expert in this field.
The MRCs have developed an in-depth knowledge base on visa regimes for Pakistanis in main destination countries, which will soon be available online. The MRC teams receive regular trainings to further their migration-related expertise; they have already supported over 100,000 intending and outgoing migrants over the past three years.