Pakistani migration

There are three main smuggling routes through Pakistan, leading to three destinations: Europe, Australia and the Gulf States.

Most Pakistani migrants use the “Eastern Mediterranean Route”. This route connects Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Greece. People cross land and sea borders with a combination of techniques. Usually smuggled migrants move from the Baluchistan region to Iran through land borders either at the Taftan border crossing or from the city of Mand Bullo in Pakistan to Pishin in Iran (IOM, 2016; UNODC, 2013).


Pakistani migrants smuggled to Australia usually leave Pakistan via air with genuine passports and visas. They usually first travel to Malaysia or Thailand, and from there travel irregularly via land or sea to Indonesia. At this point, they then attempt the final leg of the journey to Australia by sea. Migrants traveling to Australia must undertake the dangerous sea journey from Indonesia to Australia in unsafe conditions.


A large portion of South Asian migrants heading to the Gulf States travel through Pakistan via land and sea routes. From Pakistan, they usually travel to Iran and then reach Oman via sea. Air travel directly leading to the intended destination in the Gulf States and sea travel are also possible. Migrants to the Gulf countries are at risk of harassment, bonded labour and human trafficking upon destination (UNODC, 2018; European Commission, 2015; UNODC, 2013).

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