IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hdr/papers/hdrp-2009-18.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Influence of International Law on the International Movement of Persons

Author

Listed:
  • Brian Opeskin

    () (Macquarie University, Australia)

Abstract

Many migration theories identify ‘the law’ as a significant constraint on the international movement of persons. While this constraint often operates through national migration legislation, this study examines the influence of international law in shaping contemporary patterns in the international movement of persons at the macro level. The analysis begins with an examination of the long-established power of a State to regulate cross-border movement of persons as an inherent attribute of State sovereignty, together with the accepted limitations on a State’s power to control entry and exit. Yet, international law reaches well beyond the movement of people across borders. The development of international human rights law has been a key constraint on state action in the United Nations era by also regulating the treatment of migrants within a State’s borders. The study considers how international law has responded to current migration issues, including: protection of migrant women and children; suppression of smuggling and trafficking of people; labour migration; and environmental migration. As in other areas of international society, there has been a proliferation of institutions through which international migration law is made and enforced. The most prominent among them are the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), but the establishment of other entities with overlapping mandates has given rise to calls for a new international migration regime based on streamlined institutional arrangements. The study concludes that international law is an imperfect framework for regulating the international movement of persons because it has developed in a piecemeal fashion over a long time to deal with issues of concern at particular points in human history. Yet, despite its shortfalls, international law and its associated institutions unquestionably play a most important role in constraining and channeling state authority over the international movement of persons.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian Opeskin, 2009. "The Influence of International Law on the International Movement of Persons," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-18, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Apr 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:hdr:papers:hdrp-2009-18
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr2009/papers/HDRP_2009_18.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Salcedo Pfeiffer, Lisa, 2013. "Liberalising labour markets through migration partnerships? The French perspective," Papers 593, World Trade Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    international migration law; admission of aliens; refugees; expulsion of foreign nationals; human rights of migrants; diplomatic protection; migrant workers; international trade in services; environmental migration; migrant women and children; human smuggling and trafficking; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; International Organization for Migration;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hdr:papers:hdrp-2009-18. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (HDRO/UNDP). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/hdundus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.