Human mobility has been an inherent human condition throughout history. From earliest human history, people have migrated in search of a better life, to populate other places on the planet, or to escape and survive human-made or natural dangers. However, it was the creation of the concept of modern State that established geographic boundaries, and enabled States to exercise authority over persons who settled within their borders and those attempting to cross them.
Today, human mobility as a multi-causal phenomenon implies that people are migrating for a variety of reasons, which may be economic, social, political or environmental. Individuals migrate from the places where they were living because of the violence generated by State and non-State actors, armed conflicts, inequality, poverty, a lack of protection of economic, social and cultural rights, political instability, corruption, insecurity, various forms of discrimination, natural disasters, and the impact of climate change. Also, it may imply situations where individuals are physically transported across border without their consent, as in the case of trafficking. The factors that draw the migrant population are predominantly the prospect of better security, improved employment or educational opportunities, better access to services, more favorable climatic conditions, and others.
Many States have regulated migration through policies, laws, judgments and practices that directly violate the human rights of migrants and their families. At the same time, States have developed standards and mechanisms at the international, regional, bilateral and unilateral levels to regulate the flow of persons between States. The many laws, rules and regulations, fora and institutions through which States control international migration, either unilaterally or bilaterally for the most part, have resulted in a lack of consistency in global, regional and national governance of international migration that poses a challenge for the universal and regional codes developed for the protection of human rights.
Through the course the students will explore:
– What is human mobility?
– What are the main human rights challenges that create?
– What are the main international instruments that safeguard migrants?
– What is the role of the international and regional organizations?
The course will provide a comprehensive understanding of the current phenomena on human mobility; how human rights are affected by States’ policies and practices; and what is their protection under international human rights law.