A fundamental principle of human rights is that all human beings are equal and equally entitled to human rights. No one may be discriminated against in their enjoyment of human rights, and so everyone has a duty of non-discrimination.
The following are the primary human rights violations connected with “foreignness” or citizenship.
- Violation of economic rights. Economic rights include rights such as the right to work, to food, to an adequate standard of living including health care. Associated with this deprivation is a violation of other human rights such as the right to life and the right to education. Citizenship is the primary determining factor in whether one has access to such rights.
- Rights of the Child. Children have always been recognised as especially entitled to protection, a principle embodied in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Children disproportionally suffer denial of human rights, including the right to life.
- Discrimination Against Women. Women are also disproportionately represented amongst the poor and people denied their human rights. The citizenship of a woman is an important determining factor as to whether she may live in poverty.
- Denial of freedom of movement. Individuals are discriminated against in being denied a right to cross international boundaries on the basis of their citizenship, and particularly on the basis of being a non-citizen of the country seeking to deny access.
- Denial of equal access to rights within countries. Foreigners are generally discriminated against within a country by being denied rights such as access to work and to education and social services and to a say in the government of the communities of which they are a part.
- Denial of Freedom. Foreigners are subject to detention and expulsion for attempting to exercise their freedom of movement contrary to laws prohibiting the crossing of national boundaries. Often such individuals are asylum seekers or refugees even under limited international recognition of refugee status.
- Right to Life. Thousands of people have lost their lives trying to cross international boundaries and reach countries where they can realise their human rights. Crossing an international boundary without a visa (an instrument invented by the Nazi’s is considered illegal.