An Essay on the Free Movement of Peoples


  • Robert F. Barsky University of Western Ontario



Canada, Bill C-31, refugee policy, law, irregular migration, free movement, no borders, human rights


This article argues that debate on Bill C-31 should, in fact, focus upon the fact that it is impossible to determine the veracity of refugee claims using current methods of adjudication, that Canadian refugee and immigration legislation is incompatible with the international conventions, declarations, and norms upon which it is said to be based, and the absurdity of restricting the free movement of peoples. Arguing that the immigration and refugee system already favours free movement for the rich and the well-connected, and that the proposed legislation will further punish those who already suffer greatly from current restrictions, the author suggests that Canada should work to assist those who desire to move by eliminating obstacles such as third-country clauses, visa restrictions, and prohibitively priced airline tickets, and that rather than penalize those who assist in people’s natural desire to move around, Canadian officials should help find ways to encourage the movement of peoples on whatever grounds they themselves think appropriate.


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How to Cite

Barsky, R. F. (2001). An Essay on the Free Movement of Peoples. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 19(4), 84–93.

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