​​​SELMA Project

Addressing structural determinants of labour migrants’ health: Identifying acceptable and feasible policy options

Aminah Zoomkawala (002)-min.pngOver 272 million people currently live in a country other than that of their birth. Some move in search of better opportunities, for others extreme poverty, insecurity, natural disasters, or war have driven them from their homes. Our world is shaped by mobility, our societies contoured by it, and yet migration as a determinant of health remains troublingly understudied.


SELMA is a cross-institutional, cross-cultural, interdisciplinary collaborative migration health project conducted as a partnership between University College London, UK, Aga Khan University, Pakistan, the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine and University of Bern, Switzerland.

SELMA conducted an in-depth policy analysis followed by stakeholder interviews  to review and assess the content of policies relevant to the health of labour migrants in Pakistan and Qatar in relation to global level guidance and considerations of the policies' potential for impact and equity orientation; and, secondly, to explore national stakeholder perspectives, in both Pakistan and Qatar, on what explains discrepancies in policy content against global level guidance and to consider the opportunities for, and prospects of, enhancing their respective responsibilities to protect the health of labour migrants.​
Part of the SELMA project explores the experiences of labour migrants travelling from Pakistan to work in Qatar, including the impact that migration has had on health and wellbeing through artistic expression.
Project Duration: August 2019 - December 2021
Image Credit: Amina Zoomkawala

Dubai Chalo Exhibit Poster-min.jpg

The virtual exhibition

Through the lens of two disparate migration health contexts; migrant, refugee and asylum systems in the UK, and male labour migration from Pakistan into the Gulf Corporation Council, SELMA provides a rich and textured image of the structural drivers of health and the extent to which gender and gender norms shape the health and wellbeing of migrant and refugee communities.

The works presented in the virtual exhibitions are the result of two lively public engagement projects run in Pakistan and the UK respectively.​​​ Click the image or here​ to access the virtual exhibition.

The physical exhibition

“Dubai Chalo” is a well-known expression in Pakistani middle-class communities that signifies the aspiration of many with regards to livelihood, wealth generation and an upward social mobility. This is an exhibition of lived experience of Pakistani Male Labour Migrants from GCC. Come and witness the art, stories, audio installations, video installations, and artist performances.
Come and witness the art, stories, audio installations, video installations, and spoken word performances reenacted from the stories of labour migrants who have travelled from Pakistan to Gulf countries for work.
Organized by: Department of Community Health Sciences in collaboration with University College London
Time: 10 am – 4 pm, 23rd December
Venue: CHS courtyard and adjoining Tutorial Room-3

​​​​​Exhibition held in CHS Courtyard on 23rd December 2021