Right to Freedom of Movement

United Nations World Conference Documents

ICPD para 10.2 (b) – To encourage more cooperation and dialogue between countries of origin and countries of destination in order to maximize the benefits of migration to those concerned and increase the likelihood that migration has positive consequences for the development of both sending and receiving countries; (c) - To facilitate the reintegration process of returning migrants; para 10.10 (b) - To ensure the social and economic integration of documented migrants, especially of those who have acquired the right to long-term residence in the country of destination, and their equal treatment before the law; (c) - To ensure protection against racism, ethnocentrism and xenophobia; ICPD+5 para. 24 (a) – Governments in both countries of origin and countries of destination are urged to intensify efforts to protect the human rights and dignity of migrants irrespective of their legal status; . . . provide basic health and social services, including sexual and reproductive and family-planning services . . .


CCPR(1) article 12 – right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his (her) residence.

CERD(2) articles 5(d), (i) and (ii) – right to freedom of movement and residence within the border of the State and the right to leave any country, including one’s own, and to return to one’s country. CRC article 10(2) – addresses freedom of movement to both parents and children.

CEDAW(3) article 9(1) – States Parties shall grant women equal rights with men to acquire, change or retain their nationality. They shall ensure in particular that neither marriage to an alien nor change of nationality by the husband during marriage shall automatically change the nationality of the wife, render her stateless or force upon her the nationality of the husband; (2) States Parties shall grant women equal rights with men with respect to the nationality of their children; article 15 (4) – States Parties should accord to women the same rights with regard to the law relating to the movement of persons and the freedom to choose their residence and domicile. (Freedom of movement is also applicable in refugee situations when they are denied the right of entrance into their own country because of a fear of persecution and/or internal conflict).

MWC5 article 39 – Migrant workers and members of their families shall have the right to liberty of movement …


1. CCPR: Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

2. CERD: International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

3. CEDAW: Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women