Some weeks ago, I reported on a Canadian case ordering the issuance of a passport. The Canadian authorities have issued the passport, and are not appealing the ruling. Yesterday, the European Court of Human Rights issued a judgment against Bulgaria, ordering issuance of a passport.
On 20 June 2001, Mihail Ignatov, made an urgent application for a passport in order to travel to Romania to fetch his daughter from Bucharest Airport three days later. The application was refused on the ground that he was barred from obtaining a passport as a result of an administrative measure taken in the context of civil proceedings brought against him by a bank in late 1998 for failure to repay a loan. Applying article 2 of Protocol No. 4 to the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of movement, the Court said such a measure could not remain in place over a long time without periodic reassessment of its justification. Ignatov had been prevented from travelling on the basis of a restrictive measure which had long since lost all justification and had remained in force because of the inaction of the competent authorities. His right to a remedy was also violated. See: http://www.echr.coe.int.
Thanks to Brice Dickson
Although, this is a positive development in the adjudication of cases on two human rights (freedom of movement, and right to a nationality), it maintains the split between the right to leave one's country and the need to be admitted to enter the territory of a foreign country (right to migrate). Even if the right to migrate is not included in any international covenant, it could be argued that the right to seek refugee and the principle of protection of asylum seekers has established a system where countries open their borders for some individuals seeking protection. Therefore creating a right to migrate for those who are protected under the Refugee Convention.
It is precisely this gap in the protection of migrants, that a new convention on the right to migrate and migrants is necessary, even more now that environmental refugees are in the rise but no protection exist for them.
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