Islamabad:During a recent gathering of stakeholders co-organized by the National Institute of Population Studies (NIPS) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), plans were revealed for an upcoming ‘Migration Survey.’ This comprehensive initiative aims to investigate the factors influencing migration patterns, analyze their effects on Pakistani society, and scrutinize the impact of overseas migration on families left behind.
Under the leadership of Executive Director Samina A. Hasan, the meeting was convened to assess the proposal and questionnaire for the survey. The session, steered by NIPS Director Dr Aysha Sheraz and Senior Fellow NIPS Rabia Zafar, included a presentation by Dr Ghulam Mohammad Arif, a consultant, outlining the technical proposal and questionnaire.
The survey’s ambitions are vast, intending to estimate international and regional migration flows while evaluating the role of returning workers in reintegration and overall societal development.
Recognizing the historical significance of migration in shaping Pakistan, the meeting highlighted pivotal migration waves, ranging from the influx of Muslim refugees during independence to ongoing rural-to-urban movements, Afghan refugee settlement patterns, and the dispersion of the diaspora across the globe.
Despite Pakistan’s robust statistical systems for socio-economic and demographic data, a comprehensive understanding of migration statistics has been lacking. Earlier censuses between 1951 and 1998 shed light on internal migration, but subsequent censuses witnessed a shift. The exclusion of migration data in the sixth census in 2017 was only rectified in the seventh census in 2023, where the inclusion of migration information remains unavailable.
The stakeholders’ assembly saw active involvement from diverse representatives, including government bodies like the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment, the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, the Migrant Resource Centre, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, and the Overseas Population Fund, among others.
UNFPA country representative Rubina Ali expressed confidence in the survey’s potential success but emphasized the necessity of a well-defined scope and data security, particularly concerning illegal migrants.
In parallel news, Dr Akbar Niazi Teaching Hospital (ANTH) initiated a pioneering collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) by hosting a three-day training session on the National Guidelines for Small and Sick Newborns. This collaborative effort, held at the hospital on Satra Meel, Main Murree Road, in partnership with the Pakistan Paediatric Association (PPA) and Neonatal Group, aimed to engage the private sector and foster a public-private partnership to share knowledge for saving newborns. More than 50 participants from ANTH and various private and public hospitals attended the training, led by Prof Dr Irfan Waheed.