Justifying an Enforceable Right to Migrate

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Blackwell, Austin

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University of Guelph


This thesis justifies the notion of a human right to migrate that is legally enforceable. The view incorporated within this thesis is that human rights originate as moral rights and acquire their social efficacy once codified into law. By analyzing the nature of previously codified human rights, this thesis investigates whether it is necessary to recognize human rights in international and domestic law. Further, this thesis examines if an underlying connection between moral human rights and their status as legal/enforceable human rights exists. My analysis shows that the codification of human rights is necessary to ensure its fulfillment. Moreover, my examination confirms the presence of an established connection in pre-existing human rights between its justification as a moral human right and its status as an enforceable human right. I conclude that an enforceable right to migrate is justified, demanding that states generally respect individuals' rights to migrate.



Right to Migrate, Migration, Enforceable right to migrate, freedom of movement, Migration ethics, Migration as a human right