Chapter 1: Migration and freedom
Freedom of movement: ‘the first and most fundamental of man’s liberties’. (Cranston 1973, What are Human Rights?, p._31) There are an estimated 214 million international migrants and approximately 740 million internal migrants in the world today. In spite of these global migration flows, there is no guarantee of the right of freedom of movement, and most migration takes place against a backdrop of both official and unofficial controls. International migrants seeking to establish themselves even temporarily in a new setting must confront numerous state restrictions in the form of visas, fees and quotas, not to mention proof of resources, residency, employment, identification and other regulations. Even internal migrants find their mobility constrained by governmental requirements that may curb their opportunities to settle in new surroundings. In addition to state controls, migrants also face many administrative and social obstacles as ‘newcomers’, ‘outsiders’ or ‘foreigners’, and are frequently denied entry to protected spaces, above all in the housing and labour markets, further discouraging them from establishing new lives elsewhere.This book considers some of the above challenges. The starting point is a re-examination of the right of freedom of movement. The concept of freedom of movement and its relationship to migration has received little comprehensive treatment among academics, yet it underpins much of what we expect as individuals living in liberal states.