Research study on cross border population movements between Afghanistan and Pakistan

Today, the majority of Afghans travelling to and from Pakistan are temporary migrants. A 2005 IOM study found that cross border movements for social and economic purposes far exceeded refugee movements. Regular border monitoring reports and enumeration exercises carried out by the UNHCR also point to the informal nature of the cross border migration. The present study adds to the literature on cross border movements by showing that the conflict-refugee view is no longer appropriate in understanding the causes of movement. The findings of this report inform the need to fully develop and adapt new policy approaches to the evolving nature of transnational migration. Population movements between Afghanistan and Pakistan go beyond refugee or traditional tribal movements as the current population consists mainly of temporary and cyclical migrants who travel for a mixed variety of reasons, influenced by social, cultural and economic factors. This research contributes, through a large-scale survey and evidence-based data, to highlighting observations on the changing nature of population movements.

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