Freedom of movement
Freedom of movement, mobility rights or the right to travel is a human right concept that the constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

s of numerous states
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

 respect. It asserts that a citizen of a state in which that citizen is present has the liberty to travel, reside in, and/or work in any part of the state where one pleases within the limits of respect for the liberty and rights of others, and to leave that state and return at any time. Some immigrants' rights advocates assert that human beings have a fundamental human right to mobility not only within a state but between states.

Common limitations

Restrictions on international freedom of movement (immigration or emigration) are commonplace. Within countries, freedom of movement is often more limited for minors, and penal law
Penal law
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...

 can modify this right as it applies to persons charged with or convicted of crimes (for instance, parole
Parole may have different meanings depending on the field and judiciary system. All of the meanings originated from the French parole . Following its use in late-resurrected Anglo-French chivalric practice, the term became associated with the release of prisoners based on prisoners giving their...

, probation
Probation literally means testing of behaviour or abilities. In a legal sense, an offender on probation is ordered to follow certain conditions set forth by the court, often under the supervision of a probation officer...

, 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
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

. In some instances, the laws of a nation may assert a guarantee of this right, but lawless conditions may make unfettered movement impossible. In other instances, a nation whose written laws codify such rights may fail to actually provide them. Other common political-legal restrictions on freedom of movement are:
  • national and regional official minimum wage tariff barriers to labour market entry (free movement or migration of workers);
  • official identity cards (internal passports, citizenship licenses) that must be carried and produced on demand;
  • obligations on persons to register change of address or partner with the state authorities;
  • protectionist local-regional barriers to housebuilding and therefore settlement in particular districts; and
  • road toll barriers to the free movement of persons by motor cars.

Philosophical grounds for a right to move

Scholars have attempted to base a universal "right to move" on several philosophical grounds, including the idea of a common ownership of the earth, a natural right of movement existing prior to the advent of nation states, an ethics of cosmopolitanism, and utilitarian notions of the benefits of immigration to both receiving countries and immigrants.

Freedom of movement between private parties

Freedom of movement is not construed as a right to permit an individual to enter private property
Private property
Private property is the right of persons and firms to obtain, own, control, employ, dispose of, and bequeath land, capital, and other forms of property. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which refers to assets owned by a state, community or government rather than by...

 of another. Such an unauthorized entry constitutes a trespass
Trespass is an area of tort law broadly divided into three groups: trespass to the person, trespass to chattels and trespass to land.Trespass to the person, historically involved six separate trespasses: threats, assault, battery, wounding, mayhem, and maiming...

, often punishable as a tort
A tort, in common law jurisdictions, is a wrong that involves a breach of a civil duty owed to someone else. It is differentiated from a crime, which involves a breach of a duty owed to society in general...

 or a crime
Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority can ultimately prescribe a conviction...

, 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
Shopping mall
A shopping mall, shopping centre, shopping arcade, shopping precinct or simply mall is one or more buildings forming a complex of shops representing merchandisers, with interconnecting walkways enabling visitors to easily walk from unit to unit, along with a parking area — a modern, indoor version...

 or a park
A park is a protected area, in its natural or semi-natural state, or planted, and set aside for human recreation and enjoyment, or for the protection of wildlife or natural habitats. It may consist of rocks, soil, water, flora and fauna and grass areas. Many parks are legally protected by...

. 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. The concept is also used as the basis for enacting laws to prevent alternate use of streets, roads and right-of-ways from blocking or restricting freedom of movement such as block parties and playing basketball.

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
A lawsuit or "suit in law" is a civil action brought in a court of law in which a plaintiff, a party who claims to have incurred loss as a result of a defendant's actions, demands a legal or equitable remedy. The defendant is required to respond to the plaintiff's complaint...

 for false imprisonment
False imprisonment
False imprisonment is a restraint of a person in a bounded area without justification or consent. False imprisonment is a common-law felony and a tort. It applies to private as well as governmental detention...

, and to criminal charges for kidnapping
In criminal law, kidnapping is the taking away or transportation of a person against that person's will, usually to hold the person in false imprisonment, a confinement without legal authority...


Entrance restrictions in certain countries

The Henley Visa Restrictions Index ranks countries based on the number of other countries its citizens are free to enter without visa.

Exit restrictions in certain countries

Most countries require that their citizens leave the country on a valid passport, travel document issued by an international organization or, in some cases, identification document. Conditions of issuance and the governments' authority to deny issuance of a passport vary from country to country.

Under certain circumstances, countries may issue travel documents (such as laissez-passer) to aliens, that is, to persons other than their own citizens.

Having a passport issued does not guarantee the right to exit the country. A person may be prohibited to exit a country on a number of reasons, such as being under investigation as a suspect, serving a criminal sentence, being a debtor in default, or posing a threat to national security. This applies to aliens as well.

In some countries prohibition to leave may take the form of revocation of a previously issued passport. For example, the United States of America may revoke passports at will.

Some countries, such as the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, further required that their citizens, and sometimes foreign travelers, obtain an exit visa to be allowed to leave the country.

Currently, some countries require that foreign citizens have valid visas upon leaving the country if they needed one to enter. For example, a person who overstayed a visa in Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 may need to obtain an exit visa. In Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, the inconvenience goes even further as the legislation there does not formally recognize residency permits as valid visas; thus, foreign citizens lawfully residing in Russia need to obtain "exit-entry" visas in order to do a trip abroad. This, in particular, affects foreign students, whose original entry visas expire by the time they return home.

The United States requires foreign students to receive permission from the school to exit. This is done by official signature on an I-20 form. Without the signature the student will not be allowed to exit (if checked) or re-enter.

Citizens of the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 who are residents of the mainland
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

 are required to apply for exit and entry endorsements
Two-way Permit
Exit-Entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao, , colloquially known as a Two-way Permit, , are issued to mainland Chinese as entry and exit travel document for purpose of travel to Chinese Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau...

 in order to enter the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and Macau
Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

 (and SAR residents require a Home Return Permit
Home Return Permit
A ‘Home Return Permit’ , also referred to as a ‘Home Visit Permit’ or ‘China Back Home Pass’ , is the colloquial name for the national identity document officially known as the Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macao Residents issued to PRC citizens who are permanent residents of Hong Kong...

 to visit the mainland).

Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 and Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

 require all resident foreigners, but not citizens, to obtain an exit visa before leaving the kingdom.

Sometimes restrictions are placed on leaving that are specific to the intended destination. In the United States travel to Cuba is restricted with the ostensible goal of putting pressure on Cuba by denying it income from American travelers.


In ancient India
Iron Age India
Iron Age India, the Iron Age in the Indian subcontinent, succeeds the Late Harappan culture, also known as the last phase of the Indus Valley Tradition...

, all people, including women, enjoyed complete freedom of movement. Freedom of movement was considered part of India's traditional Hindu
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 Vedic culture that upheld the dignity of man and saw in him the embodiment of the divine.


When Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

 established the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 in 27 BC
27 BC
Year 27 BC was either a common year starting on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday or a leap year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar and a common year starting on Sunday of the Proleptic Julian calendar...

, he assumed monarchical powers over the new Roman province of Egypt
Aegyptus (Roman province)
The Roman province of Egypt was established in 30 BC after Octavian defeated his rival Mark Antony, deposed his lover Queen Cleopatra VII and annexed the Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt to the Roman Empire. The province encompassed most of modern-day Egypt except for the Sinai Peninsula...

 and was able to prohibit Senators
Roman Senate
The Senate of the Roman Republic was a political institution in the ancient Roman Republic, however, it was not an elected body, but one whose members were appointed by the consuls, and later by the censors. After a magistrate served his term in office, it usually was followed with automatic...

 from traveling there without his permission. However, Augustus would also allow more liberty to travel at times. During a famine
A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including crop failure, overpopulation, or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality. Every continent in the world has...

 in 6 AD, he attempted to relieve strain on the food supply by granting senators the liberty to leave Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 and to travel to wherever they wished.

In England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 in 1215, the right to travel was enshrined in Article 42 of the Magna Carta
Magna Carta
Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

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.

In the Holy Roman Empire, a measure instituted by Joseph II
Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor
Joseph II was Holy Roman Emperor from 1765 to 1790 and ruler of the Habsburg lands from 1780 to 1790. He was the eldest son of Empress Maria Theresa and her husband, Francis I...

 in 1781 had permitted serfs freedom of movement. The serfs of Russia were not given their personal freedom until Alexander II’s Edict of Emancipation of 1861. At the time, most of the inhabitants of Russia, not only the serfs but also townsmen and merchants, were deprived of freedom of movement and confined to their places of residence.

United Nations Declaration

After the end of hostilities in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 was established on October 24, 1945. The new international organization recognized the importance of freedom of movement through documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled...

 (1948) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 16, 1966, and in force from March 23, 1976...

 (1966). Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the U.N. General Assembly, reads,
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 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights incorporates this right into treaty law:
Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence. Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own. The above-mentioned rights shall not be subject to any restrictions except those provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present Covenant. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.

The ICCPR entered into force for the initial ratifying states on 23 March 1976, and for additional states following their ratification. In 1999, the U.N. Human Rights Committee, which is charged with interpreting the treaty, issued its guidelines for Article 12 of the ICCPR in its "General Comment No. 27: Freedom of Movement".


Freedom of movement laws and restrictions vary from country to country on the African continent, however several international agreements beyond those prescribed by the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 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 state's laws. 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. 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.

The Constitution of South Africa
Constitution of South Africa
The Constitution of South Africa is the supreme law of the country of South Africa. It provides the legal foundation for the existence of the republic, sets out the rights and duties of its citizens, and defines the structure of the government. The current constitution, the country's fifth, was...

 also contains express freedoms of movement, in section 21 of Chapter 2
Constitution of South Africa Chapter 2: Bill of Rights
Chapter Two of the Constitution of South Africa contains the Bill of Rights, a human rights charter that protects the civil, political and socio-economic rights of all people in South Africa...

. 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
A passport is a document, issued by a national government, which certifies, for the purpose of international travel, the identity and nationality of its holder. The elements of identity are name, date of birth, sex, and place of birth....



The military regime in Burma has been criticized for allegations of restrictions to freedom of movement. These include restrictions on movement by political dissidents, women, and migrant workers. Burmese passports contain a microchip embedded in them that carries identifying information about the passport holder. UN special envoy Razali Ismail
Razali Ismail
Tan Sri Razali Ismail is a distinguished Malaysian diplomat. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors in literature and the humanities from Universiti Malaya and an Honorary Doctorate from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia....

, part owner of Iris corporation, which won the contract to install the new system, dismissed 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."


The Constitution of Canada
Constitution of Canada
The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law in Canada; the country's constitution is an amalgamation of codified acts and uncodified traditions and conventions. It outlines Canada's system of government, as well as the civil rights of all Canadian citizens and those in Canada...

 contains mobility rights expressly in section 6
Section Six of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Section Six of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is the section of the Canadian Constitution's Charter of Rights that protects the mobility rights of Canadian citizens, and to a lesser extent that of permanent residents. By mobility rights, the section refers to the individual practice...

 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a bill of rights entrenched in the Constitution of Canada. It forms the first part of the Constitution Act, 1982...

. The rights specified include the right of citizens to leave and enter the country and the right of both citizens and permanent residents
Permanent residency
Permanent residency refers to a person's visa status: the person is allowed to reside indefinitely within a country of which he or she is not a citizen. A person with such status is known as a permanent resident....

 to move within its boundaries. However, the subsections protect poorer regions' affirmative action
Affirmative action
Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including "race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin" into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group, usually as a means to counter the effects of a history of discrimination.-Origins:The term...

 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
Section Thirty-three of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Section Thirty-three of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is part of the Constitution of Canada. It is commonly known as the notwithstanding clause , or as the override power, and it allows Parliament or provincial legislatures to override certain portions of the Charter...


Canada's Social Union Framework Agreement
Social Union Framework Agreement
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...

, 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."


In the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, the Hukou system of household registration makes internal migration
Human migration
Human migration is physical movement by humans from one area to another, sometimes over long distances or in large groups. Historically this movement was nomadic, often causing significant conflict with the indigenous population and their displacement or cultural assimilation. Only a few nomadic...

 difficult, especially for rural
Rural areas or the country or countryside are areas that are not urbanized, though when large areas are described, country towns and smaller cities will be included. They have a low population density, and typically much of the land is devoted to agriculture...

 residents to move to urban
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

 areas. Many people move to places in which they don't have a local hukou, but local governments can restrict services like subsidized schooling, subsidized housing, and health insurance
Health insurance
Health insurance is insurance against the risk of incurring medical expenses among individuals. By estimating the overall risk of health care expenses among a targeted group, an insurer can develop a routine finance structure, such as a monthly premium or payroll tax, to ensure that money is...

 to those with local hukou. The system was used as far back as the Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 for tax collection, and more recently in the early days of the People's Republic to stabilize urbanization
Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008....

, but modern economist
An economist is a professional in the social science discipline of economics. The individual may also study, develop, and apply theories and concepts from economics and write about economic policy...

s call it outdated, and many in China expect the system to be reformed or abolished "in six or seven years" from 2010. The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy
Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy is an institution which investigates human rights issues in Tibet and amongst Tibetan minorities throughout China....

 claimed in 2000 that people in Tibet
Tibet Autonomous Region
The Tibet Autonomous Region , Tibet or Xizang for short, also called the Xizang Autonomous Region is a province-level autonomous region of the People's Republic of China , created in 1965....

 had to promise not to criticize the Chinese Communist Party before receiving official permission to leave for India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 or Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

, though it did not say if this was true for other provinces as well.

European Union

Within the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, residents are guaranteed the right to freely move within the EU's internal borders by the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the European Parliament and Council Directive 2004/38/EC of 29 April 2004. 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 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. Furthermore, no EU citizen may be declared permanently persona non grata within the European Union, or permanently excluded from entry by any member state.

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."


  • Freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India though reasonable restrictions can be imposed on this right in the interest of the general public, for example, restrictions may be imposed on movement and traveling, so as to control epidemics.

  • Freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India, which is subject to reasonable restrictions by the State in the interest of the general public, or for protection of the scheduled tribes because certain safeguards, as are envisaged here, seem justified to protect indigenous and tribal peoples from exploitation and coercion.[21]


In Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

, the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland
Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland
The Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland specified that the prohibition of abortion would not limit freedom of travel in and out of the state...

 was adopted in November 1992 by a plebiscite of citizens in order to ensure the freedom of movement in the specific circumstance of a woman traveling abroad to receive an abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

. Abortion in Ireland is illegal unless the pregnancy is in threat of endangering the life of the woman.


The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, which has quasi-constitutional status, states that "there shall be no deprivation or restriction of the liberty of a person by imprisonment, arrest, extradition or otherwise"; that "all persons are free to leave Israel"; and that "every Israeli national has the right of entry into Israel from abroad".


The freedom of movement in Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 of Polish nationals holding dual citizenship is possibly unlawfully restricted by the Polish government.
The US Department of State has warned Polish nationals holding dual citizenship that despite Poland's joining of the Schengen Area, they are obliged to use Polish travel documents (a Polish passport or, within the Schengen zone, a Polish National ID card (Dowód Osobisty), or they will not be allowed to leave Poland by the Polish government.
The latest such incident is recorded as of January 15, 2008.

Poland requires Polish citizens (including American citizens who are or can be claimed as Polish citizens) or those who can be suspected to be Polish citizens to enter and depart Poland using a Polish passport.

Poland does not recognize (although it does not prohibit) dual nationality.

A person holding Polish and US citizenship is deemed by Poland to be a Polish citizen and subject to Polish law.

The US Embassy in Poland will not be in a position assist Polish citizens not being allowed to leave Poland.


The Russian Constitution
Constitution of Russia
The current Constitution of the Russian Federation was adopted by national referendum on 12 December 1993. Russia's constitution came into force on 25 December 1993, at the moment of its official publication...

 in article 27 states that "1. Everyone who is lawfully in the territory of the Russian Federation has the right to freely move and choose a place of stay or living. 2. Everyone may freely exit the territory of the Russian Federation. [Every] citizen of the Russian Federation may return onto the territory of the Russian Federation without hindrance."

Freedom of movement of Russian citizens around the country is legally limited in a number of situations including:
  • In closed cities
    Closed city
    A closed city or closed town is a settlement with travel and residency restrictions in the Soviet Union and some of its successor countries. In modern Russia, such places are officially known as "closed administrative-territorial formations" ....

     (mainly nuclear research centers) and border-adjacent areas. Special permits are necessary for both visiting and settling there.
  • Emergency or quarantine areas.
  • In the interests of justice (imprisonment, bailiff's order, arrest, undertaking not to leave during a criminal investigation etc.).
  • Conscription.

Since the abandonment of propiska
Propiska was both a residence permit and migration recording tool in the Russian Empire before 1917 and from 1930s in the Soviet Union. It was documented in local police registers and certified with a stamp in internal passports....

 system in 1993, a new legislation on registration was passed instead. Unlike propiska which was a permit to reside in a certain area, registration as worded in the law is merely notification. However, administrative procedures developed "in implementation" of the registration law imposed such conditions on registration which effectively made it depending on the landlord's assent. As landlords, for various reasons, are not interested to register tenants or guests in their properties, many of internal migrants are prevented from executing their legal duty to register. Before 2004, it was common for police to fine those having failed to register within 3 working days at a place of stay. In 2004, the maximum permitted registration lag was raised to 90 days thus making such a prosecution practically infeasible. Thus now there are no obstacles to movement of citizens per se. Nevertheless, since registration is the primary source of one's address for legal purposes, many internal migrants still are de facto second-class citizen
Second-class citizen
Second-class citizen is an informal term used to describe a person who is systematically discriminated against within a state or other political jurisdiction, despite their nominal status as a citizen or legal resident there...

s deprived of their right to vote, obtain a passport
A passport is a document, issued by a national government, which certifies, for the purpose of international travel, the identity and nationality of its holder. The elements of identity are name, date of birth, sex, and place of birth....

 or driver's license
Driver's license
A driver's license/licence , or driving licence is an official document which states that a person may operate a motorized vehicle, such as a motorcycle, car, truck or a bus, on a public roadway. Most U.S...


The Russian citizens' right to leave Russia may be legally suspended on a number of reasons including:
  • Person's having had access to classified documents while working for the state or the military, for the time when access is granted and up to 5 years afterwards. This limitation is included as a provision in job contract.
  • In the interests of justice (imprisonment, bailiff's order, undertaking not to leave etc.).
  • If the person is subject to conscription.

Russia does not recognize (though doesn't forbid) dual citizenship. Russian citizens possessing foreign citizenship may not enter or leave Russia on foreign travel documents. Russian citizens living abroad may get stuck in Russia if they need to obtain a passport while on visit to Russia; the legal term for issuance of a passport may be up to 4 months under some circumstances. Russian consular offices do not grant visas to foreign passport holders who are (or are suspected to be) Russian citizens.


The Syrian Constitution
Constitution of Syria
The Constitution of Syria delineates the basic function of that state's government. Among other things, it determines Syria's character to be Arab, Socialist and republican...

 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.". In its mandated report on human rights to the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, Syria has argued that because of this constitutional protection: "in Syria, no laws or measures restrict the liberty of movement or choice of residence of citizens". 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."

However, Syria has been criticized by groups, including Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 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. The United Nations Human Rights Committee issues regular reports on human rights in Syria, including freedom of movement.

United Kingdom

Britons have long enjoyed a comparatively high level of freedom of movement. Apart from Magna Carta
Magna Carta
Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

, the protection of rights and liberties in this field has tended to come from the common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 rather than formal constitutional codes and conventions
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

, and can be changed by Parliament without the protection of being entrenched
Entrenchment clause
An entrenched clause or entrenchment clause of a constitution is a provision which makes certain amendments either more difficult than others or impossible...

 in a constitution.

It has been proposed that a range of specific state restrictions on freedom of movement should be prohibited under a new or comprehensively amended Human Rights Act
Human Rights Act
A human rights act is a statute that sets out individual rights and freedoms under the law. Many jurisdictions have bills of rights enshrined into law and called the "Human Rights Act". This naming convention is commonly used in Commonwealth nations...

. The new basic legal prohibitions could include: road tolls and other curbs on freedom of travel and private vehicle ownership and use; personal identity cards (internal passports, citizenship licenses) that must be produced on demand for individuals to access public services and facilities; and legal requirements for citizens to register changes of address or partner with the state authorities.

West Bank

The restriction of the movement of Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

is and Palestinians in Israel and the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 by Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and the Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

 is one issue in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The varying Israeli restrictions were put into place since 1987 and the First Intifada
First Intifada
The First Intifada was a Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories. The uprising began in the Jabalia refugee camp and quickly spread throughout Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem....

 due to Palestinian political violence
Palestinian political violence
Palestinian political violence refers to acts of violence undertaken to further the Palestinian cause. These political objectives include self-determination in and sovereignty over Palestine, the liberation of Palestine and establishment of a Palestinian state, either in place of both Israel and...

. In the mid-1990s, with the implementation of the Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

 and the division of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 into three separate administrative divisions
Administrative divisions of the Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords created three temporary distinct administrative divisions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip until a final status accord would be established...

, Israeli freedom of movement was limited by law. Israel says that the regime of restrictions is necessary to protect Israelis living in Israel proper and the Israeli settlements.

External links

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