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Encyclopedia > Freedom of movement
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For other uses, see Censor. ... Coercion is the practice of compelling a person to involuntarily behave in a certain way (whether through action or inaction) by use of threats, intimidation or some other form of pressure or force. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... There are several non-governmental organizations that publish and maintain assessments of the state of freedom in the world and rank countries as being free, partly free, or unfree using various measures of freedom, including political rights, economic rights, and civil liberties. ... For other uses of Transparency, see Transparency (disambiguation). ... The philosophical concept of negative liberty refers to an individuals liberty from being subjected to the authority of others. ... Positive liberty is an idea that was first expressed and analyzed as a separate conception of liberty by John Stuart Mill but most notably described by Isaiah Berlin. ...

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Title page of a European Union member state passport.
Title page of a European Union member state passport.

Freedom of movement, mobility rights or the right to travel is a human rights concept which is respected in the constitutions of numerous states. It asserts that a citizen of a state, in which that citizen is present, generally has the right to leave that state, travel wherever the citizen is welcome, and, with proper documentation, return to that state at any time; and also (of equal or greater importance) to travel to, reside in, and/or work in, any part of the state the citizen wishes without interference from the state. Self-ownership or sovereignty of the individual or individual sovereignty is the condition where an individual has the exclusive moral right to control his or her own body and life. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (800x754, 98 KB) Taken by en:User:Lupin, 19/Mar/2004. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (800x754, 98 KB) Taken by en:User:Lupin, 19/Mar/2004. ... For Microsoft Corporation’s “universal login” service, formerly known as Microsoft Passport Network, see Windows Live ID. For other types of travel document, see Travel document. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... For other uses, see State (disambiguation). ... The word citizen may refer to: A person with a citizenship Citizen Watch Co. ... For other uses, see State (disambiguation). ...


Common limitations

Freedom of movement is often more limited for minors, and penal law can modify this right as it applies to convicted felons (for instance, parole, probation, registration). In some countries, freedom of movement has historically been limited for women, and for members of disfavored racial and social groups. Circumstances, both legal and practical, may operate to limit this freedom. For example, a nation that is generally permissive with respect to travel may restrict that right during time of war. In some instances, the laws of a nation may assert a guarantee of this right, but lawless conditions may make unfettered movement impossible. In the most general sense, penal is the body of laws that are enforced by the State in its own name and impose penalties for their violation, as opposed to civil law that seeks to redress private wrongs. ... It has been suggested that Medical parole be merged into this article or section. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see War (disambiguation). ...

Freedom of movement between private parties

Freedom of movement is not construed as a right to permit an individual to enter private property of another. Such an unauthorized entry constitutes a trespass, often punishable as a tort or a crime, for which the private landowner can summon public officials to remove a trespasser from the landowner's property. In some jurisdictions, questions have arisen as to the extent to which a private owner of land can exclude certain persons from land used for public purposes, such as a shopping mall or a park. There is also a rule of law that a landowner whose property is completely boxed in by that of other private landowners shall have the right to cross private land if that is necessary to reach a public thoroughfare. This page deals with property as ownership rights. ... “Unlawful entry” redirects here. ... Not to be confused with torte, an iced cake. ... For the traditional meaning of the word mall, see pedestrian street or promenade. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ...

There is a converse duty for a private person not to impede the free movement of another. Where a person prevents another from freely leaving an area, either by physically imprisoning them or by threats, that person may be subject to a lawsuit for false imprisonment. False imprisonment is a tort, and possibly a crime, wherein a person is intentionally confined without legal authority. ...

Exit restrictions in certain countries

Main article: Illegal emigration

Some countries, such as the defunct Soviet Union, require that their citizens, and sometimes foreign travelers, obtain an exit visa in order to be allowed to leave the country. Currently, foreign students in Russia are issued only an entry visa on being accepted to University there, and must obtain an exit visa to return home. Citizens of the People's Republic of China that are residents of the mainland are required to apply for special permits in order to leave the mainland, including to enter the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao (and SAR residents require a Home Return Permit to visit the mainland). Saudi Arabia requires all resident foreigners, but not citizens, to obtain an exit visa before leaving the kingdom. Illegal emigration may occur in countries where emigration is not allowed, or is restricted. ... An entry visa valid in all Schengen treaty countries A visa (short for the Latin carta visa, lit. ... ... Special administrative region may be: Peoples Republic of China Special administrative regions, present-day administrative divisions (as of 2006) set up by the Peoples Republic of China to administer Hong Kong (since 1997) and Macau (since 1999) Republic of China Special administrative regions, also translated as special administrative... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


The recognition and protection of the freedom of movement was first recognized by Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, in his charter of human rights documented in the Cyrus cylinder in 539 BCE.[1] “Cyrus” redirects here. ... Founder of empires: Cyrus, The Great is still revered in modern Iran as he was in all the successor Persian Empires. ... Persia redirects here. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... The Cyrus Cylinder. ... Centuries: 7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC Decades: 580s BC - 570s BC - 560s BC - 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC - 520s BC - 510s BC - 500s BC - 490s BC - 480s BC Events and trends 538 BC - Babylon occupied by Cyrus the Great 537 BC - Jews transported to Babylon...

When Augustus established the Roman Empire in 27 BCE, he assumed monarchical powers over the new Roman province of Egypt and was able to prohibit Senators from traveling there without his permission. However, Augustus would also allow more liberty to travel at times. During a famine in 6 CE, he attempted to relieve strain on the food supply by granting senators the liberty to leave Rome and to travel to wherever they wished.[2] For other persons named Octavian, see Octavian (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... (Redirected from 27 BCE) Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 70s BC 60s BC 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC - 20s BC - 10s BC 0s 10s 20s 30s Years: 32 BC 31 BC 30 BC 29 BC 28 BC 27 BC 26 BC 25 BC 24... The Roman Senate (Latin: Senatus) was the main governing council of both the Roman Republic, which started in 509 BC, and the Roman Empire. ... <nowiki>Insert non-formatted text hereBold text</nowiki>A famine is a social and economic crisis that is commonly accompanied by widespread malnutrition, starvation, epidemic and increased mortality. ... This article is about the year 6. ... Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5...

In England in 1215, the right to travel was enshrined in Article 42 of the Magna Carta: For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... A certified copy of the Magna Carta March 4 - King John of England makes an oath to the Pope as a crusader to gain the support of Innocent III. June 15 - King John of England was forced to put his seal on the Magna Carta, outlining the rights of landowning... Magna Carta Magna Carta (Latin for Great Charter, literally Great Paper), also called Magna Carta Libertatum (Great Charter of Freedoms), is an English charter originally issued in 1215. ...

It shall be lawful to any person, for the future, to go out of our kingdom, and to return, safely and securely, by land or by water, saving his allegiance to us, unless it be in time of war, for some short space, for the common good of the kingdom: excepting prisoners and outlaws, according to the laws of the land, and of the people of the nation at war against us, and Merchants who shall be treated as it is said above.

After World War II, the United Nations was established. The new international organization recognized the importance of freedom of movement through documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966). Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads, Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... UN and U.N. redirect here. ... The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (abbreviated UDHR) is an advisory declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/217, 10 December 1948 at Palais de Chaillot, Paris). ... Year 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the 1948 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Parties to the ICCPR: members in green, non-members in grey The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is a United Nations treaty based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, created in 1966 and entered into force on 23 March 1976. ... Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ...

Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.
Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 12(2) of the International Covenant also defends this right.

Institutional laws by region


Freedom of movement laws and restrictions vary from country to country on the African continent, however several international agreements beyond those proscribed by the United Nations govern freedom of movement within the African continent. The African Charter on Human and People's Rights, Article 12, guarantees that every individual will have the right to freedom of movement within the borders of their own state so long as they abide by the states laws.[3]The Charter also recognizes the right to leave and return to one's country at will, barring concerns of national security, public health, or a threat to the general population. The charter also prevents the mass expulsion of entire groups of people.[4] However, these laws are not necessarily followed or enforced, as evidenced recently by the genocide and mass expulsion in Sudan. There have been attempts to have intellectuals recognized as having special freedom of movement rights, to protect their intellectual ideals as they cross national boundaries.[5] UN and U.N. redirect here. ...

The Constitution of South Africa also contains express freedoms of movement, in section 21 of Chapter 2. Freedom of movement is guaranteed to "everyone" in regard to leaving the country but is limited to citizens when entering it or staying in it. Citizens also have a right to a passport. The current and official Constitution of the Republic of South Africa was adopted on 8 May 1996. ... For Microsoft Corporation’s “universal login” service, formerly known as Microsoft Passport Network, see Windows Live ID. For other types of travel document, see Travel document. ...


The military regime in Burma has been criticized for allegations of restrictions to freedom of movement.[6] These include restrictions on movement by political dissidents,[7] women,[8] and migrant workers.[9] Burmese passports contain a microchip embedded in them which carries identifying information about the passport holder. UN special envoy Razali Ismail, part owner of Iris corporation which won the contract to install the new system, dismissed any security concerns, and said, "Must you think of things in such sinister terms? Anyway, it’s only for those people who want to travel outside. In most cases, those will be government people."[10] Tan Sri Razali Ismail (born April 14th 1939 in Kedah) is a distinguished Malaysian diplomat. ...


The Constitution of Canada contains mobility rights expressly in section 6 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The rights specified include the right of citizens to leave and enter the country and the right of both citizens and permanent residents to move within its boundaries. However, the subsections protect poorer regions' affirmative action programs that favour residents who have lived in the region for longer. Section 6 mobility rights are among the select rights that cannot be limited by the Charter's notwithstanding clause. Regions Political culture Foreign relations Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law in Canada. ... The right to live and work anywhere in Canada. ... The Charter, signed by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 1981. ... Permanent residency refers to a persons visa status: the person is allowed to reside indefinitely within a country despite not having citizenship. ... This box:      Affirmative actionrefers to policies intended to promote access to education or employment aimed at a historically socio-politically non-dominant group (typically, minorities or women). ... Section Thirty-three of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is part of the Constitution of Canada. ...

Canada's Social Union Framework Agreement, an agreement between governments made in 1999, affirms that "All governments believe that the freedom of movement of Canadians to pursue opportunities anywhere in Canada is an essential element of Canadian citizenship." In the Agreement, it is pledged that "Governments will ensure that no new barriers to mobility are created in new social policy initiatives."[11] The Social Union Framework Agreement, or SUFA, was an agreement made in Canada in 1999 between Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and the premiers of the provinces and territories of Canada, save Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard. ...

European Union

Within the European Union, residents are guaranteed the right to freely move within the EU's internal borders by the EC Treaty and the European Parliament and Council Directive 2004/38/EC of 29 April 2004.[12] Union residents are given the right to enter any member state for up to three months with a valid passport or identity card. If the citizen does not have a travel document, the member state must afford them every facility in obtaining the documents. Under no circumstances can an entry or exit visa be required. There are some security limitations[13] and public policy restrictions on extended stays by EU residents. For instance, a member state may require that persons register their presence in the country "within a reasonable and non-discriminatory period of time". In general, however, the burden of notification and justification lies with the state. EU citizens also earn a right to permanent residence in member states they have maintained an uninterrupted five year period of legal residence. This residency cannot be subject to any conditions, and is lost only by two successive years absence from the host nation. Family members of EU residents, in general, also acquire the same freedom of travel rights as the resident they accompany, though they may be subject to a short-stay visa requirement.[14] Furthermore, no EU citizen may be declared permanently persona non grata within the European Union, or permanently excluded from entry by any member state. In European Union law, the Four Freedoms (sometimes the Four Liberties) are the free movement of goods, services, capital, and labour within the internal market of the European Union. ... The Treaty of Rome signing ceremony Signatures in the Treaty The Treaty of Rome refers to the treaty which established the European Economic Community (EEC) and was signed by France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg on March 25, 1957. ...

Hong Kong

Under Basic Law of Hong Kong article 31, "Hong Kong residents shall have freedom of movement within the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and freedom of emigration to other countries and regions. They shall have freedom to travel and to enter or leave the Region. Unless restrained by law, holders of valid travel documents shall be free to leave the Region without special authorization."


In Ireland, the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland was adopted in November of 1992 by a plebiscite of the Irish people in order to ensure the freedom of movement in the specific circumstance of a women traveling abroad to receive an abortion - a practice that is banned in Ireland itself. The Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland specifies that the prohibition of abortion would not limit freedom of travel from Ireland to other countries where a person might legally obtain an abortion. ... Year 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar). ... A referendum (plural: referendums or referenda) or plebiscite is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. ... The Irish people (Irish: Muintir na hÉireann, na hÉireannaigh, na Gaeil) are a European ethnic group who originated in Ireland, in north western Europe. ...


The Syrian Constitution states "Every citizen has the right to liberty of movement within the territory of the State unless prohibited therefrom under the terms of a court order or public health and safety regulations.".[15] The United Nations has reported that "in Syria, no laws or measures restrict the liberty of movement or choice of residence of citizens.".[16] Legislative Decree No. 29 of 1970 regulates the right of foreigners to enter, reside in and leave the territory of Syria, and is the controlling document regarding the issuance of passports, visas, and diplomatic travel status. The document specifically states "The latter provision is intended merely to ensure that our country is not the final destination of stateless persons."[17] Wikisource has original text related to this article: Constitution of Syria // Preamble The Arab nation managed to perform a great role in building human civilization when it was a unified nation. ... UN and U.N. redirect here. ... Year 1970 ([[Rf 1970 == January 1 - The Unix epoch begins at 00:00:00 UTC January 2 - The last studio performance of The Beatles oman numerals|MCMLXX]]) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

However, Syria has been criticized by groups, including Amnesty International for restrictions to freedom of movement. In August 2005, Amnesty International released an "appeal case", citing several freedom of movement restrictions including exit restriction without explanation, refusal to issue passports to political dissidents, detention, restriction from entering certain structures, denial of travel documents, and denial of nationality.[18] The United Nations Human Rights Committee issues regular reports on human rights in Syria, including freedom of movement.[19] Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Amnesty international Amnesty International (commonly known as Amnesty or AI) is an international non-governmental organization which defines its mission as to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Human Rights Committee is a group of 18 experts who meet three times a year to consider the five-yearly reports submitted by United Nations member states on their compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. ...


Article 5 of the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination explicitly guarantees "...the right to freedom of movement and residence within the border of the State".[20] Under the Chinese household registration citizen, Tibetan residents must receive permission to change their household between a rural and urban area. Tibetans are also forced to agree to Chinese communist party ideals in order to receive a permit to exit the country.[21] It has been reported that Chinese residents in Tibet are not subject to these restrictions, especially if they have access to a Chinese household permit.[22]

United States

The Privileges and Immunities Clause of the United States Constitution says, "The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States." In the case of Paul v. Virginia, 75 U.S. 168 (1868), the U.S. Supreme Court said that this clause implies a "right of free ingress into other States, and egress from them." The Privileges and Immunities Clause (U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1, also known as the Comity Clause) prevents states from treating citizens of other states in a discriminatory manner, with regard to basic civil rights. ...

Also, in Kent v. Dulles, 357 U.S. 116 (1958), the United States Secretary of State had refused to issue a passport, based on the suspicion that the plaintiff was going abroad to promote communism. Although the Court did not "reach the question of constitutionality" in this case, Justice William O. Douglas wrote for the Court as follows: Year 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Seal of the United States Department of State. ... For Microsoft Corporation’s “universal login” service, formerly known as Microsoft Passport Network, see Windows Live ID. For other types of travel document, see Travel document. ... A plaintiff, also known as a claimant or complainer, is the party who initiates a lawsuit (also known as an action) before a court. ... Communism is an ideology that seeks to establish a classless, stateless social organization based on common ownership of the means of production. ... William Orville Douglas (October 16, 1898 – January 19, 1980) was a United States Supreme Court Associate Justice. ...

The right to travel is a part of the 'liberty' of which the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the Fifth Amendment. If that "liberty" is to be regulated, it must be pursuant to the law-making functions of the Congress. . . . . Freedom of movement across frontiers in either direction, and inside frontiers as well, was a part of our heritage. Travel abroad, like travel within the country, . . . may be as close to the heart of the individual as the choice of what he eats, or wears, or reads. Freedom of movement is basic in our scheme of values.

The U.S. Supreme Court also dealt with the right to travel in the case of Saenz v. Roe, 526 U.S. 489 (1999). In that case, Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the majority, held that the United States Constitution protected three separate aspects of the right to travel among the states: the right to enter one state and leave another, the right to be treated as a welcome visitor rather than a hostile stranger (protected by the Privileges and Immunities Clause in Article IV, § 2), and for those who become permanent residents of a state, the right to be treated equally to native born citizens (this is protected by the 14th Amendment Citizenship Clause). Due process of law is a legal concept that ensures the government will respect all of a persons legal rights instead of just some or most of those legal rights, when the government deprives a person of life, liberty, or property. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Holding §11450. ... // The United States Reports, the official reporter of the Supreme Court of the United States Case citation is the system used in common law countries such as the United States, England and Wales, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Australia and India to uniquely identify the location of past court... This article is about the year. ... John Paul Stevens (born April 20, 1920) is currently the most senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: The United States Constitution The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. ... The Privileges and Immunities Clause (U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1, also known as the Comity Clause) prevents states from treating citizens of other states in a discriminatory manner, with regard to basic civil rights. ... Article Four of the United States Constitution relates to the states. ... Amendment XIV in the National Archives The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (Amendment XIV) is one of the post-Civil War amendments (known as the Reconstruction Amendments), first intended to secure rights for former slaves. ... The citizenship clause (also known as the naturalization clause[1]) refers to a provision, in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution at section one, clause 1. ...

The issue of freedom of movement has received new attention in the United States as of 2004; in particular, concerning the methods and internal practices of the Transportation Security Administration.[citation needed] 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... TSA emblem The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is a U.S. government agency that was created as part of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush on November 19, 2001. ...

Another issue of contention deals with freedom of movement across U.S. national borders. The United States has long been lax in permitting persons to cross from Canada into the United States. Concerns about drug trafficking and illegal immigrants seeking employment have led to much stricter controls on those crossing the border from Mexico.


  1. ^ Arthur Henry Robertson, John Graham Merrills (1996). Human Rights in the World: An Introduction to the Study of the International Protection of Human Rights. Manchester University Press. ISBN 0719049237.
  2. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book LV, 26.
  3. ^ http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/z1afchar.htm
  4. ^ http://www.hrea.org/learn/guides/freedom-of-movement.html
  5. ^ http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/africa/KAMDOK.htm
  6. ^ http://www.burmalibrary.org/show.php?cat=1170
  7. ^ https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bm.html#Issues
  8. ^ http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/Yearbook2002-3/yearbooks/12.%20The%20Freedom%20of%20Movement.htm
  9. ^ http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/Yearbook2002-3/yearbooks/12.%20The%20Freedom%20of%20Movement.htm
  10. ^ BBC / The Washington Times August 15, 2002
  11. ^ Government of Canada, Social Union, News Release, "A Framework to Improve the Social Union for Canadians: An Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Governments of the Provinces and Territories, February 4, 1999," URL accessed 20 December 2006.
  12. ^ http://europa.eu.int/scadplus/leg/en/lvb/l33152.htm
  13. ^ http://europa.eu.int/scadplus/leg/en/lvb/l23010.htm
  14. ^ http://europa.eu.int/scadplus/leg/en/lvb/l33152.htm
  15. ^ Article 33, Paragraph 2, Syrian Constitution
  16. ^ http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G04/440/26/PDF/G0444026.pdf?OpenElement
  17. ^ Legislative Decree No. 29 of 1970, Syrian Government
  18. ^ http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde240732005
  19. ^ http://www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/hrcs84.htm
  20. ^ http://www.tchrd.org/publications/topical_reports/racial_discrimination-2000/housing/06_restrictions.html
  21. ^ TCHRD.org as above, "Promise to state that the Chinese Communist Party policies in Tibet are "good" and refrain from criticising the Party; "
  22. ^ TCHRD as above "Chinese traders from outside Tibet area are also able to move into and around Tibet without restriction as part of special preferential policies introduced by the government to advance the rapid development of a free market system."

Manchester University Press is the university press of the University of Manchester, England. ...

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