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The Strasbourg Declaration on the Right to Leave and Return

  • Hurst Hannum (a1)

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A small 3-day meeting of international lawyers and other experts was convened by the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, in November 1986 to consider the current status of the right to leave any country, including one’s own, and to return to one’s country. The approximately 30 participants were from Costa Rica, Egypt, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Morocco, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and Zambia.

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1 ESC Res. 1984/29, UN Doc. E/1984/INF/4, at 45 (1984). The special rapporteur’s broad mandate includes:

an analysis of current trends and developments in respect of the right of everyone to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country, and to have the possibility to enter other countries, without discrimination or hindrance, especially of the right to employment, taking into account the need to avoid the phenomenon of the brain drain from developing countries and the question of recompensing those countries for the loss incurred, and to study in particular the extent of restrictions permissible under article 12, paragraph 3, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

2 UN Comm’n on Human Rights Res. 1985/22, UN ESCOR Supp. (No. 2) at 56, UN Doc. E/1985/22(1985).

3 See generally Inglés, J., Study of Discrimination in Respect of the Right of Everyone to Leave Any Country, Including his Own, and to Return to his Country (UN Pub. Sales No. 64.XIV.2) (first issued as UN Doc. E/CN.4/Sub.2/220/Rev.1 (1963)).

4 See The Right to Leave and to Return: Papers and Recommendations of the International Colloquium Held in Uppsala, Sweden, 19–21 June 1972 (Vasak, K. & Liskofsky, S. eds. 1976).

5 Hannum, H., The Right to Leave and Return in International Law And Practice (1987).

6 See especially Arts. 2, 3, 10(a) and (b), and 12. The declaration is printed below as an appendix to this introductory note.

7 Article 4 draws in part upon the “Siracusa Principles” on limitation and derogation provisions adopted by an NGO meeting in Siracusa, Italy, in 1984. See Symposium: Limitation and Derogation Provisions in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 7 Hum. Rts. Q. 1 (1985).

8 Arts. 9 and 10.

9 Art. 3.

10 Art. 6.

11 Art. 7.

12 Art. 8.

13 J. Ingés, supra note 3, at 9.

* Organized by the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, Nov. 24-26, 1986.

The Strasbourg Declaration on the Right to Leave and Return

  • Hurst Hannum (a1)

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