Freedom of movement, mobility rights, or the right to travel is a
human rights concept encompassing the right of individuals to travel
from place to place within the territory of a country, and to leave
the country and return to it. The right includes not only visiting
places, but changing the place where the individual resides or
Such a right is provided in the constitutions of numerous states, and
in documents reflecting norms of international law. For example,
Article 13 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserts that:
a citizen of a state in which that citizen is present has the liberty
to travel, reside in, and/or work in any part of the state where one
pleases within the limits of respect for the liberty and rights of
and that a citizen also has the right to leave any country, including
his or her own, and to return to his or her country at any time.
Some people and organizations advocate an extension of the freedom of
movement to include a freedom of movement – or migration – between
the countries as well as within the countries. The freedom of
movement is restricted in a variety of ways by various governments and
may even vary within the territory of a single country. Such
restrictions are generally based on public health, order, or safety
justifications and postulate that the right to these conditions
preempts the notion of freedom of movement.
1 Common Restrictions
Freedom of movement
Freedom of movement between private properties
1.2 Domestic restrictions
1.3 Entrance restrictions in certain countries
1.4 Exit restrictions in certain countries
United Nations Declaration
3 Cases by jurisdiction
3.1.2 China (mainland)
3.1.3 Hong Kong
3.1.8 North Korea
3.3.1 European Union
3.3.7 United Kingdom
3.4 North America
3.4.2 United States
4 See also
6 External links
Restrictions on international travel on people (immigration or
emigration) are commonplace. Within countries, freedom of travel is
often more limited for minors, and penal law can modify this right as
it applies to persons charged with or convicted of crimes (for
instance, parole, probation, registration). In some countries,
freedom of movement has historically been limited for women, and for
members of disfavored racial and social groups. Circumstances, both
legal and practical, may operate to limit this freedom. For example, a
nation that is generally permissive with respect to travel may
restrict that right during time of war.
Restrictions may include the following:
national and regional official minimum wage tariff barriers to
labour-market entry (free movement or migration of workers);
official identity cards (internal passports, citizenship licenses)
that must be carried and produced on demand;
obligations on persons to register changes of address or of partner
with the state authorities;
protectionist local/regional barriers to housebuilding and therefore
settlement in particular districts;
trespassing into another individual's property.
Freedom of movement
Freedom of movement between private properties
In some jurisdictions, questions have arisen as to the extent to which
a private owner of land can exclude certain persons from land used for
public purposes, such as a shopping mall or a park. There is also a
rule of law that a landowner whose property is completely boxed in by
that of other private landowners shall have the right to cross private
land if that is necessary to reach a public thoroughfare. The concept
is also used as the basis for enacting laws to prevent alternate use
of streets, roads and right-of-ways from blocking or restricting
freedom of movement such as block parties and playing basketball.
There is a converse duty for a private person not to impede the free
movement of another. Where a person prevents another from freely
leaving an area, either by physically imprisoning them or by threats,
that person may be subject to a lawsuit for false imprisonment, and to
criminal charges for kidnapping.
Parents or other legal guardians are typically able to restrict the
movements of minor children under their care, and of other adults who
have been legally deemed incompetent to govern their own movement.
Employers may legally set some restrictions on the movements of
employees, and terminate employment if those restrictions are
Governments may generally sharply restrict the freedom of movement of
persons who have been convicted of crimes, most conspicuously in the
context of imprisonment. Restrictions may also be placed on convicted
criminals who are on probation or have been released on parole.
Persons who have been charged with crimes and have been released on
bail may also be prohibited from traveling. A material witness may
also be denied the right to travel.
Governments sometimes also restrict access to disaster-stricken areas,
or to places where public health threats exist. Where an individual
presents a health threat due to infection with a contagious disease,
the government may quarantine that person, restricting their movement
for the safety of others.
Though travelling to and from countries is generally permitted (with
some limitations), most governments restrict the length of time that
temporary visitors may stay in the country. This can be dependant on
country of citizenship and country travelled to among other factors.
In some instances (such as those of refugees who are at risk of
immediate bodily harm on return to their country or those seeking
legal asylum), indefinite stay may be allowed on humanitarian grounds,
but in most other cases, stay is generally limited. One notable
exception to this is the Schengen Area, where citizens of any country
in the EU generally enjoy indefinite stay in other EU countries.
Furthermore, restrictions on the right to relocate or live in certain
areas of a country have been imposed in several countries, most
In a child custody dispute, a court may place restrictions on the
movement of a minor child, thereby restricting the ability of the
parents of that child to travel with their child.
Entrance restrictions in certain countries
British Government asks travelers arriving at London Stansted Airport
not to destroy their travel documents, in order to be able to
adjudicate their eligibility to enter the country
Main article: Illegal immigration
The Visa Restrictions Index ranks countries based on the number of
other countries its citizens are free to enter without visa. Most
countries in the world require visas or some other form of entrance
permit for non-citizens to enter their territory.  Those who enter
countries in defiance of regulations requiring such documentation are
often subject to imprisonment or deportation.
Exit restrictions in certain countries
Main article: Illegal emigration
Most countries require that their citizens leave the country on a
valid passport, travel document issued by an international
organization or, in some cases, identification document. Conditions of
issuance and the governments' authority to deny issuance of a passport
vary from country to country.
Under certain circumstances, countries may issue travel documents
(such as laissez-passer) to aliens, that is, to persons other than
their own citizens.
Having a passport issued does not guarantee the right to exit the
country. A person may be prohibited to exit a country on a number of
reasons, such as being under investigation as a suspect, serving a
criminal sentence, being a debtor in default, or posing a threat to
national security. This applies to aliens as well.
In some countries prohibition to leave may take the form of revocation
of a previously issued passport. For example, the United States of
America may revoke passports at will.
Some countries, such as the former Soviet Union, further required that
their citizens, and sometimes foreign travelers, obtain an exit visa
to be allowed to leave the country.
Currently, some countries require that foreign citizens have valid
visas upon leaving the country if they needed one to enter. For
example, a person who overstayed a visa in
Czech Republic may need to
obtain an exit visa. In Russia, the inconvenience goes even further as
the legislation there does not formally recognize residency permits as
valid visas; thus, foreign citizens lawfully residing in
to obtain "exit-entry" visas in order to do a trip abroad. This, in
particular, affects foreign students, whose original entry visas
expire by the time they return home.
Citizens of the
People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China who are residents of the
mainland are required to apply for exit and entry endorsements in
order to enter the
Special Administrative Regions of
Hong Kong and
Macau (and SAR residents require a
Home Return Permit
Home Return Permit to visit the
mainland). Since 2016, residents of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous
Region have been required to deposit their passports with the police.
Each trip abroad must be approved by the government, which is more
difficult for members of the Uyghur ethnic group.
Saudi Arabia and
Qatar require all resident foreigners, but not
citizens, to obtain an exit visa before leaving the country.
Augustus established the
Roman Empire in 27 BC, he assumed
monarchical powers over the new Roman province of Egypt and was able
to prohibit senators from traveling there without his permission.
Augustus would also allow more liberty to travel at times.
During a famine in 6 AD, he attempted to relieve strain on the food
supply by granting senators the liberty to leave
Rome and to travel to
wherever they wished.
In England, in 1215, the right to travel was enshrined in Article 42
of the Magna Carta:
It shall be lawful to any person, for the future, to go out of our
kingdom, and to return, safely and securely, by land or by water,
saving his allegiance to us, unless it be in time of war, for some
short space, for the common good of the kingdom: excepting prisoners
and outlaws, according to the laws of the land, and of the people of
the nation at war against us, and Merchants who shall be treated as it
is said above.
In the Holy Roman Empire, a measure instituted by Joseph II in 1781
had permitted serfs freedom of movement. The serfs of
Russia were not
given their personal freedom until Alexander II's Edict of
Emancipation of 1861. At the time, most of the inhabitants of Russia,
not only the serfs but also townsmen and merchants, were deprived of
freedom of movement and confined to their places of residence.
United Nations Declaration
After the end of hostilities in World
War II, the
United Nations was
established on October 24, 1945. The new international organization
recognized the importance of freedom of movement through documents
such as the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966). Article
13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the U.N.
General Assembly, reads,
The text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within
the borders of each State.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own,
and to return to his country.
Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
incorporates this right into treaty law:
(1) Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within
that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to
choose his residence.
(2) Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.
(3) The above-mentioned rights shall not be subject to any
restrictions except those provided by law, are necessary to protect
national security, public order (ordre public), public health or
morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with
the other rights recognized in the present Covenant.
(4) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own
The ICCPR entered into force for the initial ratifying states on 23
March 1976, and for additional states following their ratification. In
1999, the U.N. Human
Rights Committee, which is charged with
interpreting the treaty, issued its guidelines for Article 12 of the
ICCPR in its "General Comment No. 27: Freedom of Movement".
While the treaty sets out the freedom of movement in broad and
absolute terms, part four of Article 12 of the ICCPR admits that these
freedoms may be restricted for a variety of reasons in the public
interest. This clause is often cited to justify a wide variety of
movement restrictions by almost every country that is party to it.
Cases by jurisdiction
The military regime in
Burma has been criticized for allegations of
restrictions to freedom of movement. These include restrictions on
movement by political dissidents, women, and migrant
Human rights in China
Shennongjia District - within a section of
closed to foreign visitors
In the mainland of the People's Republic of China, the
Hukou system of
household registration makes internal migration difficult, especially
for rural residents to move to urban areas. Many people move
to places in which they don't have a local hukou, but local
governments can restrict services like subsidized schooling,
subsidized housing, and health insurance to those with local
hukou.The system was used as far back as the Han
Dynasty for tax collection, and more recently in the People's Republic
to control urbanization. The
Hukou system has also lead many
municipal governments to disregard the welfare of migrant workers as
measures of wellbeing and economic progress are based almost
exclusively on conditions for those with a local hukou.
Also, Chinese citizens are allowed to go from the mainland to Hong
Macau only for travel, but not for residence unless they
obtain the "one-way permit' from Chinese authorities. Currently, the
issuance of the "one-way permit" is limited to 150 per day.
Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy claimed in 2000 that
people in Tibet had to promise not to criticize the Chinese Communist
Party before receiving official permission to leave for
Nepal. Additionally, it alleged that people of Han descent in
Tibet have a far easier time acquiring the necessary permits to live
in urban areas than ethnic Tibetans do.
As a part of the one country, two systems policy proposed by Deng
Xiaoping and accepted by the British and Portuguese governments, the
special administrative regions (SARs) of
Hong Kong and
separate border control and immigration policies with the rest of the
PRC. Chinese nationals had to gain permission from the government
before travelling to
Hong Kong or Macau, but this requirement was
officially abolished for each SAR after its respective handover. Since
then, restrictions imposed by the SAR governments have been the
limiting factor on travel.
Basic Law of
Hong Kong article 31, "
Hong Kong residents shall
have freedom of movement within the
Region and freedom of immigration to other countries and regions. They
shall have freedom to travel and to enter or leave the Region. Unless
restrained by law, holders of valid travel documents shall be free to
leave the Region without special authorization."
Freedom to move freely throughout the territory of
reasonable restrictions can be imposed on this right in the interest
of the general public, for example, restrictions may be imposed on
movement and travelling, so as to control epidemics.
Freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India,
which is subject to reasonable restrictions by the State in the
interest of the general public, or for protection of the scheduled
tribes because certain safeguards, as are envisaged here, seem
justified to protect indigenous and tribal peoples from exploitation
An internal Israeli checkpoint near the town of Bethlehem.
Israeli Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, which has
quasi-constitutional status, declares that "there shall be no
deprivation or restriction of the liberty of a person by imprisonment,
arrest, extradition or otherwise"; that "all persons are free to leave
Israel"; and that "every Israeli national has the right of entry into
Israel from abroad". In practice, "withhold departure from the
country" orders are liberally issued by
Israel courts, including on
non-custodial fathers who are not in arrears in child support.
In March 2012 a corruption scandal exposed the quasi-legal reality of
Israeli passport control, as two officials were arrested for allegedly
having taken bribes to circumvent court ordered "no exit" travel
abroad bans. Freedoms of movement in
Israel are not similarly
protected and a source of much controversy in the Palestinian West
Bank and, to a lesser extent, Gaza Strip.
Human rights in Japan
Constitution provides for the freedom of movement within the
country, foreign travel, immigration, and repatriation, and the
Government generally respects them in practice. Citizens have the
right to travel freely both within the country and abroad, to change
their place of residence, to emigrate, and to repatriate voluntarily.
Citizenship may be forfeited by naturalization in a foreign country or
by failure of persons born with dual nationality to elect citizenship
at the required age. The law does not permit forced exile, and it is
Kuwait refuses admission to holders of Israeli passports as part of
its boycott against Israel. In 2015
Kuwait Airways cancelled its
route between New York and London following a decision by the U.S.
Department of Transportation that the airline had engaged in
discrimination by refusing to sell tickets to Israeli citizens.
Direct flights between the USA and Kuwait are not affected by this
decision as Israeli citizens are not allowed to enter Kuwait.
Travel to North Korea is tightly controlled. The standard route to and
from North Korea is by plane or train via Beijing. Transport directly
to and from
South Korea was possible on a limited scale from 2003
until 2008, when a road was opened (bus tours, no private cars).
Freedom of Movement within North Korea is also limited, as citizens
are not allowed to move around freely inside their country.
Freedom of movement
Freedom of movement in Syria
Syrian citizens are prohibited from exiting the country without
special visas issued by government authorities.
Constitution states "Every citizen has the right to liberty
of movement within the territory of the State unless prohibited
therefrom under the terms of a court order or public health and safety
regulations.". In its mandated report on human rights to the
United Nations, Syria has argued that because of this constitutional
protection: "in Syria, no laws or measures restrict the liberty of
movement or choice of residence of citizens". Legislative Decree
No. 29 of 1970 regulates the right of foreigners to enter, reside in
and leave the territory of Syria, and is the controlling document
regarding the issuance of passports, visas, and diplomatic travel
status. The document specifically states "The latter provision is
intended merely to ensure that our country is not the final
destination of stateless persons."
However, Syria has been criticized by groups, including Amnesty
International for restrictions to freedom of movement. In August 2005,
Amnesty International released an "appeal case", citing several
freedom of movement restrictions including exit restriction without
explanation, refusal to issue passports to political dissidents,
detention, restriction from entering certain structures, denial of
travel documents, and denial of nationality. The United Nations
Rights Committee issues regular reports on human rights in
Syria, including freedom of movement.
There are certain restrictions on movement placed on Women, for
example Syrian law now allows males to place restrictions on certain
female relatives. Women over the age of 18 are entitled to travel
outside of Syria, however a woman’s husband may file a request for
his wife to be banned from leaving the country. From July 2013, in
certain villages in Syria (namely Mosul, Raqqu and Deir el-Zour), ISIS
no longer allow women to appear in public alone, they must be
accompanied by a male relative/guardian known as a mahram.
Further information: Palestinian freedom of movement
Palestinians queue to pass through a checkpoint between neighborhoods
in the city of Hebron.
The restriction of the movement of Israelis and
Palestinians in Israel
West Bank by
Israel and the
Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority is
one issue in the Israel-Palestine conflict. In the mid-1990s, with the
implementation of the
Oslo Accords and the division of the West Bank
into three separate administrative divisions, Israeli freedom of
movement was limited by law.
Israel says that the regime of
restrictions is necessary to protect Israelis both in
and in the West Bank.
Checkpoints exist throughout and at entrances and exits to the West
Bank that limit the movement of non-Israelis on the basis of
nationality, age, and sex among other criteria. While many
such checkpoints are static, many are random, or move around
frequently. Full closures of the
West Bank to any entrance or exit
are frequent, generally taking place on Jewish Holidays.
Residents of Gaza are only allowed to travel to the
West Bank in
exceptional humanitarian cases, particularly urgent medical cases, but
not including marriage. It is possible to travel from the
West Bank to
Gaza only if the person pledges to permanently relocating to Gaza.
Gazan residents are only admitted to
Israel in exceptional
humanitarian cases. Since 2008, they are not allowed to live or stay
Israel because of marriage with an Israeli. Israelis who want to
visit their partner in Gaza need permits for a few months, and
Israelis can visit their first‐degree relatives in Gaza only in
exceptional humanitarian cases.
Freedom of movement
Freedom of movement laws and restrictions vary from country to country
on the African continent, however several international agreements
beyond those prescribed by the
United Nations govern freedom of
movement within the African continent. The African Charter on Human
Rights Article 12 outlines various forms of
movement-related freedoms. It asserts:
Every individual shall have the right to freedom of movement and
residence within the borders of a State provided he abides by the law.
Every individual shall have the right to leave any country including
his own, and to return to his country. This right may only be subject
to restrictions, provided for by law for the protection of national
security, law and order, public health or morality.
Every individual shall have the right, when persecuted, to seek and
obtain asylum in other countries in accordance with laws of those
countries and international conventions.
A non-national legally admitted in a territory of a State Party to the
present Charter, may only be expelled from it by virtue of a decision
taken in accordance with the law.
The mass expulsion of non-nationals shall be prohibited. Mass
expulsion shall be that which is aimed at national, racial, ethnic or
The ideals of the Charter are, in principle, supported by all
signatory governments, though they are not rigorously followed. There
have been attempts to have intellectuals recognized as having special
freedom of movement rights, to protect their intellectual ideals as
they cross national boundaries.
Beyond the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, the
Constitution of South Africa also contains express freedoms of
movement, in section 21 of Chapter 2.
Freedom of movement
Freedom of movement is
guaranteed to "everyone" in regard to leaving the country but is
limited to citizens when entering it or staying in it. Citizens also
have a right to a passport, critical to full exercise of the freedom
of movement internationally.
Main article: Four Freedoms (European Union)
European Union Freedom-of-Movement Area
Within the European Union, residents are guaranteed the right to
freely move within the EU's internal borders by the Treaty on the
Functioning of the
European Union and the European Parliament and
Directive 2004/38/EC of 29 April 2004. Union residents are
given the right to enter any member state for up to three months with
a valid passport or identity card. If the citizen does not have a
travel document, the member state must afford them every facility in
obtaining the documents. Under no circumstances can an entry or exit
visa be required. There are some security limitations and public
policy restrictions on extended stays by EU residents. For instance, a
member state may require that persons register their presence in the
country "within a reasonable and non-discriminatory period of time".
In general, however, the burden of notification and justification lies
with the state. EU citizens also earn a right to permanent residence
in member states they have maintained an uninterrupted five-year
period of legal residence. This residency cannot be subject to any
conditions, and is lost only by two successive years absence from the
host nation. Family members of EU residents, in general, also acquire
the same freedom of travel rights as the resident they accompany,
though they may be subject to a short-stay visa requirement.
Furthermore, no EU citizen may be declared permanently persona non
grata within the European Union, or permanently excluded from entry by
any member state.
Freedom of movement
Freedom of movement for workers in the European Union
The freedom of movement for workers is a policy chapter of the acquis
communautaire of the European Union. It is part of the free movement
of persons and one of the four economic freedoms: free movement of
goods, services, labour and capital. Article 45
TFEU (ex 39 and 48)
Freedom of movement
Freedom of movement for workers shall be secured within the Community.
Such freedom of movement shall entail the abolition of any
discrimination based on nationality between workers of the Member
States as regards employment, remuneration and other conditions of
work and employment.
It shall entail the right, subject to limitations justified on grounds
of public policy, public security or public health:
(a) to accept offers of employment actually made;
(b) to move freely within the territory of Member States for this
(c) to stay in a Member State for the purpose of employment in
accordance with the provisions governing the employment of nationals
of that State laid down by law, regulation or administrative action;
(d) to remain in the territory of a Member State after having been
employed in that State, subject to conditions which shall be embodied
in implementing regulations to be drawn up by the Commission.
The provisions of this article shall not apply to employment in the
In the Republic of Ireland, the Thirteenth Amendment was adopted in
November 1992 by referendum in order to ensure freedom of movement in
the specific circumstance of a woman traveling abroad to receive an
Abortion is illegal under the Irish constitution unless the
pregnancy endangers the life of the mother and this amendment is
atypical in addressing the freedom of movement under such specific
circumstances. The new text of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution
Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland reads:
The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due
regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its
laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and
vindicate that right.
This subsection shall not limit freedom to travel between the State
and another state.
This subsection shall not limit freedom to obtain or make available,
in the State, subject to such conditions as may be laid down by law,
information relating to services lawfully available in another state.
In Italy, freedom of movement is enshrined in Article 16 of the
Constitution, which states:
"Every citizen has the right to reside and travel freely in any part
of the country, except for such general limitations as may be
established by law for reasons of health or security. No restriction
may be imposed for political reasons. Every citizen is free to leave
the territory of the republic and return to it, notwithstanding any
Svalbard area is an entirely visa-free zone.
Uniquely, the Norwegian special territory of
Svalbard is an entirely
visa-free zone under the terms of the
Polish nationals holding dual citizenship that despite Poland's
joining of the Schengen Area, they are obliged to use Polish travel
documents (a Polish passport or, within the European Union, a Polish
National ID card (Dowód osobisty), or they will not be allowed to
leave Poland by the Polish government. The latest such incident is
recorded as of January 4, 2012.
Poland requires Polish citizens including foreign citizens who are or
can be claimed or those who can be suspected to be Polish citizens to
enter and depart Poland using a Polish passport.
Constitution in article 27 states that "1. Everyone who is
lawfully in the territory of the Russian Federation has the right to
freely move and choose a place of stay or living. 2. Everyone may
freely exit the territory of the Russian Federation. [Every] citizen
of the Russian Federation may return onto the territory of the Russian
Federation without hindrance."
Freedom of movement
Freedom of movement of Russian citizens around the country is legally
limited in a number of situations, including the following:
In closed cities (mainly nuclear research centers) and border-adjacent
Special permits are necessary for both visiting and settling
In certain areas near Russia's international border.
Emergency or quarantine areas.
In the interests of justice (imprisonment, bailiff's order, arrest,
undertaking not to leave during a criminal investigation etc.).
Since the abandonment of propiska system in 1993, new legislation on
registration was passed. Unlike propiska which was a permit to reside
in a certain area, registration as worded in the law is merely
notification. However, administrative procedures developed "in
implementation" of the registration law imposed such conditions on
registration which effectively made it depending on the landlord's
assent. As landlords, for various reasons, are not interested to
register tenants or guests in their properties, many of internal
migrants are prevented from executing their legal duty to
register. Before 2004, it was common for police to fine those
having failed to register within 3 working days at a place of stay. In
2004, the maximum permitted registration lag was raised to 90 days
thus making such a prosecution practically infeasible. Thus now there
are no obstacles to movement of citizens per se. Nevertheless, since
registration is the primary source of one's address for legal
purposes, many internal migrants still are de facto second-class
citizens deprived of their right to vote, obtain a passport or
driver's license etc.
The Russian citizens' right to leave
Russia may be legally suspended
on a number of reasons including:
Person's having had access to classified documents while working for
the state or the military, for the time when access is granted and up
to 5 years afterwards. This limitation is included as a provision in
In the interests of justice (imprisonment, bailiff's order,
undertaking not to leave etc.).
If the person is subject to conscription.
Russia does not recognize (though doesn't forbid) dual citizenship.
Russian citizens possessing foreign citizenship may not enter or leave
Russia on foreign travel documents. Russian citizens living abroad may
get stuck in
Russia if they need to obtain a passport while on visit
to Russia; the legal term for issuance of a passport may be up to 4
months under some circumstances. Russian consular offices do not grant
visas to foreign passport holders who are (or are suspected to be)
Britons have long enjoyed a comparatively high level of freedom of
movement. Apart from Magna Carta, the protection of rights and
liberties in this field has tended to come from the common law rather
than formal constitutional codes and conventions, and can be changed
by Parliament without the protection of being entrenched in a
It has been proposed that a range of specific state restrictions on
freedom of movement should be prohibited under a new or
comprehensively amended Human
Rights Act. The new basic legal
prohibitions could include: road tolls and other curbs on freedom of
travel and private vehicle ownership and use; personal identity cards
(internal passports, citizenship licenses) that must be produced on
demand for individuals to access public services and facilities; and
legal requirements for citizens to register changes of address or
partner with the state authorities.
Constitution of Canada contains mobility rights expressly in
section 6 of the Canadian Charter of
Rights and Freedoms. The rights
specified include the right of citizens to leave and enter the country
and the right of both citizens and permanent residents to move within
its boundaries. However, the subsections protect poorer regions'
affirmative action programs that favour residents who have lived in
the region for longer. Section 6 mobility rights are among the select
rights that cannot be limited by the Charter's notwithstanding clause.
Canada's Social Union Framework Agreement, an agreement between
governments made in 1999, affirms that "All governments believe that
the freedom of movement of Canadians to pursue opportunities anywhere
in Canada is an essential element of Canadian citizenship." In the
Agreement, it is pledged that "Governments will ensure that no new
barriers to mobility are created in new social policy
Freedom of movement
Freedom of movement under United States law
Freedom of movement under United States law is governed primarily by
Privileges and Immunities Clause
Privileges and Immunities Clause of the United States Constitution
which states, "The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all
Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States." As far
back as the circuit court ruling in Corfield v. Coryell, 6 Fed. Cas.
546 (1823), freedom of movement has been judicially recognized as a
fundamental Constitutional right. In Paul v. Virginia, 75 U.S. 168
(1869), the Court defined freedom of movement as "right of free
ingress into other States, and egress from them." However, the
Supreme Court did not invest the federal government with the authority
to protect freedom of movement. Under the "privileges and immunities"
clause, this authority was given to the states, a position the Court
held consistently through the years in cases such as Ward v. Maryland,
79 U.S. 418 (1871), the Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. 36 (1873) and
United States v. Harris, 106 U.S. 629 (1883).
Internationally, § 215 of the Immigration and
Nationality Act of 1952
(currently codified at 8 U.S.C. § 1185), it is unlawful for a United
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Freedom of Movement and limitations thereof in Cuba
Freedom of Travel policy within the European Union
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
UN General Assembly, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13
Rights Committee, General Comment No. 27: Freedom of Movement
Goddess of Liberty
Substantive human rights
Note: What is considered a human right is controversial and not all
the topics listed are universally accepted as human rights.
Civil and political
Equality before the law
Freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention
Freedom of assembly
Freedom of association
Freedom from cruel and unusual punishment
Freedom from discrimination
Freedom from exile
Freedom of information
Freedom of movement
Freedom of religion
Freedom from slavery
Freedom of speech
Freedom of thought
Freedom from torture
Presumption of innocence
Right of asylum
Right to die
Right to a fair trial
Right to family life
Right to keep and bear arms
Right to life
Right to petition
Right to privacy
Right to protest
Right to refuse medical treatment
Right of self-defense
Security of person
Equal pay for equal work
Right to an adequate standard of living
Right to clothing
Right to development
Right to education
Right to food
Right to health
Right to housing
Right to Internet access
Right to property
Right to public participation
Right of reply
Right of return
Right to science and culture
Right to social security
Right to water
Right to work
Trade union membership
Freedom from involuntary female genital mutilation
Intersex human rights
Right to sexuality
War and conflict
Freedom from genocide