imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Human Rights Require International Freedom of Movement and Residence

by Joseph Nevins Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008 at 12:42 AM

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 60 years old this week, has helped legitimate the supposed right of nation-states to regulate immigration, thus denying freedom of international mobility and residence, and undermining basic human rights in the process.

Sixty years ago this week the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as "a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations." Since its birth on Dec. 10, 1948, the declaration has played a significant role in advancing the rights and freedoms it enumerates. Yet it has also helped legitimate the putative right of nation-states to regulate immigration, thus denying freedom of international mobility and residence, and undermining basic human rights in the process.

Among the most tragic manifestations is the plight of so-called "illegal" migrants. Like Apartheid-era South Africa, which dictated where the majority of its inhabitants (black South Africans) could live and work, contemporary control of movement across national boundaries results in systematic violence and dehumanization.

From the U.S.-Mexico borderlands to the perimeter around the European Union, to the sea boundary between Yemen and northeast Africa, many hundreds—if not thousands—of unauthorized migrants die each year while trying to cross the increasingly militarized divides between the privileged and disadvantaged. And countless tens of thousands more are held in detention for violating national laws regarding movement, residence and employment.

At the same time, the millions who have succeeded in transgressing the boundaries that are supposed to keep them out must live with the everyday indignities that their unauthorized status facilitates. These range from sub-standard wages, to constant threat of arrest and deportation, to divided families.

The UDHR enshrines the right of exit from a country. However it does not affirm a right of entry—except into one's own country—as the document's framers had no intention of challenging the ability of nation-states to regulate movement from without.

The effect is to deny some of the most basic human rights. In a world of pervasive poverty, growing inequality, and widespread instability and insecurity, the power to move across national boundaries is tied to the ability to access resources needed to realize those rights. They include a right to life, a right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of oneself and one's family, and a right to work under just conditions—all of which are asserted by the UDHR.

As formidable barriers to many across the globe, national territorial boundaries thus often have life and death implications. The poor and disadvantaged are typically forced to subsist where there are insufficient resources, or, in order to overcome their deprivation and insecurity, to risk their lives trying to evade enforcement obstacles put into place by countries that reject them—at least officially.

It is widely recognized that limiting mobility—within nation-states—is both unjust (as the UDHR suggests) and harmful to those denied. In the case of Rwanda in the early 1990s, for example, the U.S. State Department characterized that country's obstacles to internal mobility and choice of residence as human rights violations. The World Bank opined that these obstacles "increased poverty by limiting options for the poor." Yet the injurious implications of limited mobility and residence across national boundaries are rarely noted.

No doubt the demand for a right of international movement and residence is "unrealistic" in today's world. And certainly such freedom would be disruptive of the status quo, creating challenges (in addition to benefits) for migrant-receiving and -sending societies. But its idealistic character and disruptive implications should not prevent us from assessing freedom from an ethical perspective. Instead, they compel us to create practices and mechanisms to negotiate the challenges while working to reduce the national and global injustices that fuel much emigration in the first place.

Were we to do so, perhaps we will be able in the not-so-distant future to look back at the present and wonder how the concept of "illegal alien" could have ever existed—in the same way we now look at state-sanctioned slavery or male-only suffrage.

Reaching such a point requires that we take to heart the UDHR's affirmation of the inherent dignity of, and equal rights for, all human beings, and understand regulation of international mobility and residence for what it is: an affront to human rights.

-------------

Joseph Nevins is an associate professor of geography at Vassar College. His latest book is "Dying to Live: A Story of U.S. Immigration in an Age of Global Apartheid" (City Lights Books/ Open Media Series, 2008) www.citylights.com.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming? A31 10:07AM

The Shortwave Report 08/31/18 Listen Globally! A30 11:44PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy