Migration and Rights of Migrants

Migration and Rights of Migrants


In this essay, more will be urged on the moral rights of people living in poverty or fleeing from the civil war in their countries who have a moral right to seek a better life for their families by immigrating where they and their families can enjoy a safe and decent life. People have migrated since human history began a long time ago, usually motivated by leading a better life. And while today’s movement of people is keenly monitored, migration should not be looked up as an obstacle but if handled well it is an opportunity that can achieve the UN 2030 agenda on sustainable development.

Moral Rights for Migration

The first argument that supports this is based on the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) together with 169 targets-covering several issues like climate action, improvement in health, poverty reduction-only one addresses the issue of migration which is 10.7, which directly addresses migration “Enables responsible, safe and orderly migration and movement of people together with the implementation of well-managed and planned migration policies (Singer 270). Since allowing movement of people who are in civil war or poverty can make them productive and contribute positively to the economy, hence migration should be allowed and integrated within the efforts to fulfill many of UN Sustainable Development Goals. It is the right of people to migrate because many people do not migrate for fun but because there are fundamental issues that force them to do so, apart from poverty and civil war other reasons why people migrate are: to look for jobs, flee from persecution and sea-level rise and extreme weather. These are critical issues that we cannot just ignore; people will migrate to countries they feel their problems will be addressed.

Beginning with poverty, this is not something that can be taken lightly. People suffer due to a lack of basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing. Some people especially those who live in Sub Saharan African lead a miserable life where getting a single meal is not easy, they are forced to go several days without food which makes them weak and venerable to diseases. Their children are forced to walk naked due to lack of clothes; they live in simple structures which do not offer protection at all. From this explanation of the lives of these people who are forced to live in poverty, the best solution is to migrate to countries where they can be taken care of. They need to be realizing that it is their right to seek a better life than dying in poverty. They need to have moral rights to migrate to countries where they can work and improve their living standards, but if there are no such rights then they people will die in their poverty. Therefore it is important to have moral rights to help this poverty-stricken person to improve the lives of their families.

Another critical issue is the civil war. Just as it was once said that nobody wishes to be born in a country where civil war and fighting is the order of the day because every human being deserves a peaceful country where he or she can carry out his or her daily business freely. Having this in mind, when there is civil war the most people who are affected are children and women. These innocent people lose their lives in wars that they are not aware of why it exists. This possesses the question that, should these innocent people be left to die because they have no right to migrate to other countries? Of course, the answer is No because all human beings have a right to live. These people need to have the moral right to migrate to countries where they can find peace and help their families live a peaceful life.

Unemployment is also another critical issue. Many people from the least developed countries are unemployed. The reason being, they have the skills and competence to do various jobs but their counties cannot give those jobs. These people, usually the youths have spent time in schools acquiring knowledge and skills to do various jobs but they lack somewhere to exercise their skills. Besides the job seekers have families they need to take care of. This person has a right to exercise their skills and knowledge, they have a right to get a job and take care of their families and since their native countries cannot give them jobs they need to seek elsewhere, that is from other countries that need labour (Mahler 693). These people have the moral right to move to other nations to seek employment because that will help them to use their skills and feed their families as well.

Climate migration is another big challenge, some countries experience earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, droughts, floods, storms, and a rise in sea level. When these changes occur many people lose their lives and the few who are left find it hard to stay, and the probable solution that comes into their mind is to relocate to safer places whether illegally or legally. They migrate to other countries to look for better places where they can stay better lives and recover what they lost. Such people have a moral right to migrate to a safer place because their life is much important than any other thing. It should be understood that such people even if they migrate illegally their situation should be taken as an emergency and should not face consequences of illegal migration.

Fleeing from persecution is another issue that cannot be ignored. Some people are facing persecution because of their skin colour or their political affiliation. For instance, in some countries, those who belong to majority parties will persecute those from minor parties. Others are discriminated against because of their skin colour. This makes such individuals depressed and mentally disrupted and they may opt to migrate to other countries where they can forget their past and move on. Such people have a right to migrate to any country they feel they can have peace of mind rather than dying for no good reason.

Religious Difference is an obstacle that cannot be taken lightly. Some countries make it hard for those who belong to a different religion to get fundamental services from the government. For instance, in some Muslim countries like Egypt, they do not recognize some religions apart from Islam and Christianity (Wallis 100). On top of that, they make it hard for those who are not Muslim to get government services. This makes it hard for these people to persevere in staying in such countries hence their only solution to this challenge is for them to migrate to other countries that respect and recognizes their freedom of worship. For this purpose, they have a right to worship and since their countries do not give them their freedom they are forced to look for it elsewhere and that is simply to migrate to countries they feel they be allowed to worship freely.

Benefits of Migration

Migration is an important tool to reduce poverty as well as contributing to sustainable development goals. This is because when people migrate they enjoy increased income in their new countries which enables them to spend much on basic needs, modern energy services, access to education, health services, and also make investments (Anderson 201). This improves their living standards. In their original countries, migration can lead to greater economic growth through increased income spending, education transfer as well as investing in migrant households. In their host countries, migrants should not be viewed as a challenge but they contribute positively towards the growth of the economy by filling labour gaps, contribute to services as well as increasing government budget through taxes and social security contributions (Carens 251). In this explanation, I uphold the idea of people living in poverty to have the moral rights to migrate because from my discussion it is evident that their movement will not only benefit them but will also benefit the original country they are migrating from as well as the country they are migrating to.

Migrants can play a vital role in the provision and delivery of services to greater development in their host countries. They contribute a lot in making an important contribution and providing services to their host countries as both consumers and workers (Collier 100). If the host country can allow them to have access to education and training, they will be better equipped in helping fill labour market needs, increase their earning potential as well as their local market contribution. These benefits such as enhanced political participation, reduction in gender inequalities, better health, and better health outcomes help to achieve much of SDGs.

Extending the rights of immigrants to have access to better healthcare as well as health services will ensure their health and contribution as workers. This also has a vital benefit for the general population of the host countries. For instance, the entire population benefits from reduced risks of communicable diseases when migrant children are vaccinated. Besides, that migrants will contribute to providing health and care services via their labour often called migrant labour. Migrants can also make an important contribution to social protection, for instance, they make a vital contribution to the fiscal balance of host countries since the contribution they make in terms of taxes and other payments exceed the benefits they get (Gibney and Matthew 157). Therefore they should have moral rights to migrate because of their benefit to the host country. However, in some circumstances like helping terrorists to carry out their criminal activities in host countries, such rights should be denied because they may lead to political instability in the host country.


This essay has highlighted the reasons why people migrate to other countries. From these reasons it can be justified that people from venerable countries like those living in poverty, civil war, poor climate, religious discrimination, persecution, natural disasters have a right to move to safer countries. This are critical challenges that every human being will not wish to persevere, just like any other people, they have a right to move and look for better places to live comfortable lives and improve the living standards of their families. Besides the reasons for migrating, if migrants’ rights are extended to their host countries they are not always a liability but if given their rights they contribute a lot in the growth of their host countries.






Works Cited

Singer, Peter. The life you can save: How to do your part to end world poverty. Random House

Incorporated, 2010.

Wallis, Jim. God’s politics: Why the right gets it wrong and the left doesn’t get it. Zondervan,


Carens, Joseph H. “Aliens and citizens: the case for open borders.” The review of politics 49.2

(2007): 251-273.

Gibney, Matthew J., and Matthew J. Gibney. The ethics and politics of asylum: liberal

            Democracy and the response to refugees. Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Collier, Paul. “Economic causes of civil conflict and their implications for policy.” (2012).

Anderson, Bridget. Us and them?: The dangerous politics of immigration control. OUP Oxford

, 2013.

Mahler, Sarah J. “Engendering transnational migration: A case study of Salvadorans.” American

            Behavioral Scientist 42.4 (2009): 690-719.

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