Freedom of movement
Freedom of movement, mobility rights or the right to travel are covered under Human Rights and are respected in the Constitutions of numerous states. It asserts that a citizen of a state, in which that citizen resides, generally has the right to leave that state, travel to any destination where he is welcomed by the foreign state, and return to his/her homestate at any time, subject to the submission of the required documentation. In addition, a person is allowed to travel to, reside in, and/or work in any part of the state the citizen wishes without interference from the state.
According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) all people are entitled to the recognition of inherent dignity and certain inalienable rights, which are the “foundations of freedom and justice in the world.” Freedom of movement is part of the “liberty of man” (Jagerskiold) thus making it one of the most basic human rights. Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates:
‘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 return to his country.’
Freedom of Movement and Gender Equality
The Human Rights Council adopted a general comment dealing specifically with Article 3 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states the equality of rights between men and women. This comment states in Section 16 that states parties should provide any information on any legal practice or provision which restricts women’s freedom of movement such as: the exercise of marital powers over ones wife and children or the issuance of travel documents to women. Subsequently, this comment calls for governments to repeal such laws giving women the same rights as men.