Taking Mobility Seriously in the Model International Mobility Convention


The Model International Mobility Convention (MIMC) develops a comprehensive and rights-based framework for individuals on the move, whether as tourists, workers, students, or simply as visitors to other States. As such, the concept of mobility is implicit throughout the Convention and core to many of its principles and provisions. For refugees and other forced migrants, however, the MIMC’s proposals for promoting and regulating voluntary movement may be viewed as orthogonal to their predicament in two respects. First, most forced migrants would prefer a world in which they could stay home; safety at home, not movement, may be their primary goal. Second, contemporary approaches toward forced migrants focus on securing protection and providing assistance, not on facilitating movement. What I want to suggest in this brief comment is that mobility can and should play a larger role in the international refugee regime than is usually recognized. That is, the MIMC’s normative commitment to mobility can be made central in the context of forced migration as well as in the context of voluntary migration.

T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Taking Mobility Seriously in the Model International Mobility Convention, 56 Colum. J. Transnat'l L. 296 (2018).