2593>>>Although freedom of movement is often recognized<<
- Jan 18, 2038
Although freedom of movement is often recognized as a civil right
Although freedom of movement is often recognized as a civil right, the freedom only applies to movement within national borders: it may be guaranteed by the constitution or by human rights legislation. Additionally, this freedom is often limited to citizens and excludes others. No state currently allows full freedom of movement across its borders, and international human rights treaties do not confer a general right to enter another state. According to Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, citizens may not be forbidden to leave their country. There is no similar provision regarding entry of non-citizens. Those who reject this distinction on ethical grounds, argue that the freedom of movement both within and between countries is a basic human right, and that the restrictive immigration policies, typical of nation-states, violate this human right of freedom of movement. Such arguments are common among anti-state ideologies like anarchism and libertarianism.
Where immigration is permitted, it is typically selective. Ethnic selection, such as the White Australia policy, has generally disappeared, but priority is usually given to the educated, skilled, and wealthy--which is in direct contradiction to the needs of the labour market (demanding un-skilled and poor people with low levels of education, willing to do jobs wealthier locals refuse to do). Less privileged individuals, including the mass of poor people in low-income countries, cannot avail of the legal and protected immigration opportunities offered by wealthy states. This inequality has also been criticised as conflicting with the principle of equal opportunities, which apply (at least in theory) within democratic nation-states. The fact that the door is closed for the unskilled, while at the same time many developed countries have a huge demand for unskilled labour, is a major factor in undocumented immigration. The contradictory nature of this policy - which specifically disadvantages the unskilled immigrants while exploiting their labour - has also been criticised on ethical grounds.
Immigration polices which selectively grant freedom of movement to targeted individuals are intended to produce a net economic gain for the host country. They can also mean net loss for a poor donor country through the loss of the educated minority - the brain drain. This can exacerbate the global inequality in standards of living that provided the motivation for the individual to migrate in the first place. An example of the 'competition for skilled labour' is active recruitment of health workers by First World countries, from the Third World.
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