Immigration as a human right

In Sarah Fine & Lea Ypi (eds.), Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 32-56 (2016)
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This chapter argues that people have a human right to immigrate to other states. People have essential interests in being able to make important personal decisions and engage in politics without state restrictions on the options available to them. It is these interests that other human rights, such as the human rights to internal freedom of movement, expression and association, protect. The human right to immigrate is not absolute. Like other human freedom rights , it can be restricted in certain extreme circumstances. Outside these circumstances, however, immigration restrictions are unjust. Having presented the argument for a human right to immigrate, the chapter responds to objections from distributive justice, culture and scarcity.

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Kieran Oberman
London School of Economics


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