Freedom of Movement; is it a Human Right?


I believe within one’s own country every citizen should have the basic right to freedom of movement as long as you don’t encounter somebody’s private property. Freedom of movement should be a fundamental human right for those that wish to seek asylum from persecution, conflict or oppression. It’s also immoral and inhumane for dictators like Kim Jong-un of North Korea to keep it’s people captive.

I believe that freedom of movement between EU members of states works fairly well because the connected nations have similar standards of living, and similar values, which means there are no drug-exporting countries like Mexico or dictators driving their countries into poverty to support an ideology. So in my opinion the EU is fairly well governed across the superstate. The EU allows 420 millions EU citizens to travel freely from one country to another, to live and work where they wish, without visas. The other positives of EU free movement is that it drives a nation’s economy, in fact, the EU nationals benefit the UK economy greatly; they contribute £2,300 more on average per year to the government than a UK-born adult. The flow of EU citizens are fairly balanced, there has not been any mass population density due to EU migration alone. For example, half of the people from France are not going to want to move to Germany. So its also worth noting that the problems that the EU are facing are merely due to the influx of non-EU migrants entering into EU borders.

However, looking at the world today, free movement as a whole would cause considerable problems around the world especially with a world population of 7.7 billion people because the differences in politics, economics and values are simply too big to let people freely roam as they see fit. And in fairness, every other nation has the right to control its borders for the safety, protection, and welfare of its own citizens. Not to mention the need for global protection of our ecosystem and for all the animal species in danger of extinction.

Mass migration has been the main political concern for the western world. We see the migrant crisis at the US-Mexican border, the influx of migrants and refugees into the EU borders, and of course, the UK’s position to Brexit has all whipped up racial tensions and hatred, which, in my opinion, is happening way too far, causing bitterly divided nations. I feel that we, as a country, cannot help people, especially those that are in most need if we are busy rioting and dividing on issues of race, culture and resources. Therefore, in the interests of everybody, a balance has to be kept, for example, non-EU economic migrants may have to be limited.

As we have seen, the negative effects of forcing migrants on people ends up with a backlash; it has cost the UK to Brexit, and caused the USA to elect Trump-a nationalist right-wing president- for the most powerful nation on Earth. And similarly, the UK has a divisive figure called Nigel Farage for the Brexit party with his popularity rising just as much as the Italian minister Matteo Salvini and France with Marine Le Pen who are all driving the same anti-immigration argument. But can we say they are good for our countries? Does this mean they will start to ignore thousands of migrants drowning in the sea as a consequence of border protection? The migrant crisis has indeed disrupted the stability of the developed countries, causing politicians to ignore urgent problems such as climate change which desperately needs global attention to address it and it’s not possible if we are all arguing and focusing on immigration.

I still think giving refuge and aid to the desperate is a moral duty that we, as a prosperous and safe country, do need to uphold. However, currently, with almost 69 million refugees around the world having fled war, violence and persecution, it will be a tremendous struggle for the developed nation to take them all in. The influx to developed countries could collapse the society. It would lower overall standards of living of the entire country, causing civil unrest and then, countries will be in no position to help.

Therefore, the solutions, I think, would be to tackle the root cause of mass migration and perhaps, for a start, all the developed nations including the US, UK, France, Germany and Russia could stop selling arms to countries that are causing the wars in the first place, displacing millions of refugees. And this, by the way, is deeply shocking to me that this is happening. It will also require a global aid effort to make it safe for people to stay put, to develop their own countries into successful economies where everyone can enjoy a decent standard of living. Imagine if we solve this one problem and free movement like the EU superstate could be possible for other parts of the world. It would be a wonderful thought if every leader of every country made the first step to begin working towards achieving the conditions that could make it a reality. For example, every country could strive to eliminate poverty through a universal minimum wage and global standards of living. No war, no tension, nothing; just a peaceful, social life without hatred against each other. Living in harmony within our own environment and to respect our neighbours with no prejudice. This might sound like a naive utopian dream today, but if we don’t strive for some social change, basic freedom of movement will only be the rights of the very rich and not for the vast majority who will continue to live in abject poverty.

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