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Awareness raising and information campaigns on the risks of irregular migration in Pakistan (PARIM)


Information on migration has become a crucial element of empowering potential migrants to take an informed decision on their migration trajectory. Providing people with knowledge on the dangers and consequences of irregular migration, human trafficking and migrant smuggling, as well as the legal migration channels available, is important to counteract myths and wrongful information spread by smuggling and trafficking networks.

With this initiative, the European Union funds awareness raising actions in Pakistan aiming to reduce vulnerabilities and challenges faced by migrants by providing them with adequate, timely and reliable information and guidance on all matters related to migration. The Ministry of Interior of Austria and the Ministry of Interior of Bulgaria co-fund and co-implement this project, together with ICMPD as the main implementing partner. The actions will be closely linked with the Migrant Resource Centres (MRCs) situated in the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (MOPHRD) and the Department of Labour Punjab (DoL).


The overall objective of the project is to sensitise and empower potential migrants to make informed decisions about migration, particularly irregular migration, and in turn, contribute to reducing irregular migration towards European and other countries. At the same time, the project will aim to build sustainable networks and platforms among different groups of stakeholders to enhance their capacity in raising awareness, providing balanced information and promoting legal pathways. It will increase the understanding of key influencers of potential migrants about the dangerous consequences of irregular migration and the benefits of regular pathways. 

The main research objective of the project is to contribute to the knowledge base on Pakistani migrants and on effective awareness raising campaigns in Pakistan and beyond. Understanding that effective information and awareness campaigns are built on strong background research, the Research Unit conducts an empirical study for this project. Background research will outline the main campaigns on irregular migration to date in Pakistan, as well as lessons learnt and best practices. Quantitative research will elucidate the migration dynamics of irregular and regular migration channels from Pakistan, including potential (irregular) migrants’ information needs and gaps, their migration intentions, motivations and decision-making processes, their key influencers and channels likely to reach them. The research component also includes a mapping of Pakistani migrant associations in Europe (particularly Austria, Bulgaria, Greece and Italy). 

This research serves as the backbone of the project, ensuring the subsequent actions, in particular the awareness-raising campaigns, are tailored to the needs of migrants as identified by the research. Focusing on information dissemination and awareness raising among potential migrants in Pakistan, this project will subsequently conduct a series of campaigns communicating balanced information about the dangers and consequences of irregular migration, options for legal migration, and the legal, social and economic realities of life in Europe. Embedding a behavioural approach, the campaigns will employ different channels and trusted, credible messengers to target both prospective migrants and their key influencers. A robust evaluation of the campaign activities will allow to adapt within the action duration and identify lessons learned for future campaigns.

Project Duration: January 2021 - December 2022
Funding: European Union (AMIF)
Co-donors and implementing partners: Ministry of Interior Austria, Ministry of Interior Bulgaria
Budget: 1,100,000 EUR
Contact: Veronika Bilger, Maegan Hendow, Isabelle Wolfsgruber


Qaisrani, Ayesha (2022). Influencing from a distance: Are diaspora members effective as “credible messengers” in migration information campaigns? Vienna. ICMPD.

Hahn-Schauer, Katharina; Qaisrani, Ayesha (2022): Mind the Gap. Can information campaigns address migrant information needs? Policy brief. Vienna: ICMPD

Qaisrani, Ayesha, Katharina Hahn-Schaur and Maegan Hendow (2021). Irregular Migration Dynamics from Pakistan and the Role of Information Campaigns: PARIM Final Report. Vienna: ICMPD
Executive Summary 

Hahn-Schaur, Katharina (2021). Awareness raising and information campaigns on the risks of irregular migration in Pakistan: Background Report. Vienna: ICMPD.
Executive Summary

Qaisrani, Ayesha and Jokic, Jelena. (2021). Awareness raising and information campaigns on the risks of irregular migration in Pakistan: Diaspora Mapping Report. ICMPD: Vienna.
Executive Summary 

Related Publications

Hahn-Schaur, Katharina (2021): Leveraging migration information campaigns for state and migrant security. Lessons learned and open questions. Vienna. ICMPD




Research staff involved:

Veronika Bilger
Maegan Hendow
Katharina Hahn-Schaur
Ayesha Qaisrani
Jelena Jokic