Gulf Labour Markets and Migration

An international independent, non-partisan, non-profit joint programme of a major Gulf think tank and a globally renowned academic migration centre
The programme provides data, analyses, and recommendations contributing to the improvement of understanding and management of
Gulf labour markets and migration, engaging with and respecting the viewpoints of all stakeholders

Nasra M. Shah


Scientific Director

Nasra M. Shah is Professor of Demography at the Department of Community Medicine and Behavioral Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University. She received her doctoral degree in Population Dynamics from the Johns Hopkins University, School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA.

Professor Shah’s research has focused on several different demographic issues in the context of health and societal development. She has conducted extensive research on the Asian region, especially Pakistan and the major South Asian countries. Kuwait is another major country on which her work has focused for almost 30 years. She has addressed questions related to the role that social factors play in the reduction of infant and child mortality, and on the predictors of fertility and contraceptive use. She has also analyzed changes in the social, economic and health status of women in several Asian and Pacific countries and edited a major volume on the socioeconomic and demographic profile of Pakistani Women. One of her latest research interests includes the study of psychosocial factors in aging and the role that networks play in the aging process. She has recently analyzed various aspects relating to the 2nd generation non-nationals in Kuwait.


Labor migration, especially from Asian countries to the oil-rich Gulf countries, has been one of the consistent themes in Dr. Shah’s research for more than 35 years. She has published a book and numerous articles on various migration topics. During the mid 1990s, she was part of a UNFPA funded global project that examined emigration dynamics in 4 major sending regions. She was Chairperson of the South Asia region. As part of this project she developed a conceptual framework for analyzing labor migration that was adopted for the analysis of all the four regions. Her research has focused on the perspective of sending as well as receiving countries. It has addressed topics such as socioeconomic profiles of migrant workers, economic progress of migrant workers, domestic worker migration, violence against women migrants, increasingly restrictive policies of receiving countries, irregular migration, the role of social networks in the migration process, and aspirations and plans of 2nd generation non-nationals. She serves as a referee for most leading migration journals and is on the Editorial Board of the Asia and Pacific Migration Journal, International Family Planning Perspectives, and Migration and Development. Her many publications include books on Asian Labor Migration: Pipeline to the Middle East; Pakistani Women; Basic Needs, Women and Development; and Population of Kuwait: Structure and Dynamics.

Nasra M. Shah – List of Publications