freedom of movement

Freedom of movement or the right to travel is one of the basic rights of every human being. The right to every human being to leave any country including his own and to return to his country the right which is enshrined in The Universal Declaration of human Rights. The right of movement is enshrined in the constitution of various States and in documents reflecting norms of International law. Article 13 of the Human Rights 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 right of others and that the citizen also has the right to leave any country including his own, and return to his country at any time.

After the end of hostilities in World War II, the United Nations 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 (1948) and the International Covenant on Civil and political Rights (1966). Article 13, paragraph 2, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his own country. Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights also provides that everyone shall be free to leave any country including his own country and no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter into his own country. These rights shall not be subjected to any restrictions except those which are provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order, public health or the rights and freedom of others recognized under the International Covenant on civil and Political Rights.

Article 21 of the Indian Constitution provides that no one shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty without the procedure established by law. The right to leave or travel abroad and the right to return India are considered to be the part of article 21 of the Constitution. In Satwant Singh V Assistant Passport Officer, New Delhi, AIR 1967 SC 1836 , the petitioner was a citizen of India. For his business purpose he had to travel abroad frequently. The Government of India issued an order for impounding his passport thus restraining him from travelling abroad. The Petitioner challenged such an order under Article 21 of the Constitution saying that it is his personal right and liberty and no one can be deprived of it except according to the procedure established by law. As passport is a necessary document to travel abroad so impounding it amounts to the violation of personal liberty under Artcle 21. The Parliament therefore enacted the Passport act 1967, to regulate the right to go abroad.

J.Bhagwati in Maneka Gandhi V. union of India AIR 1978 SC 597 held that freedom to go abroad is the basic human right. At the same time it allows the individual to experience grow and expand his talent.

Therefore it is held that being born as a human being in itself lays down that we are born with certain basic and fundamental right. Similarly the right to movement is one such right that everyone human being should enjoy.



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