ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Freedom of movementSubscribe to Freedom of movement

The Fundamental Freedom to Migrate within India

The debate over migrant workers in recent times and their invisibility in government data and in policy discourse has led to a series of responses from state and central governments. While the number of returning migrants is lower in the second wave of Covid-19, nothing much has changed for the migrants on the ground. This past year has seen state governments, such as Haryana and Karnataka, move to give preference to “local” persons over migrants, even as a draft national migrant policy is under consideration. Is there a constitutional right to migrate within India? What, if any, are the duties cast upon governments and employers? These questions must be considered if the current migrant crisis is not to result in deprivation of the fundamental right to internal migration.

Freedom of Movement Restricted

The intransigence of the European Union with respect to freedom of movement of people now lies exposed as morally and ethically hollow in the light of its conduct with India. The same insistent EU refuses to actively apply similar rules of the game of free movement of people in the global arena, which raises the question of solidarity and principled conduct.
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