The Human Rights of Non-citizens

David Weissbrodt

Research output: Book/ReportBook

88 Scopus citations


Non-citizens include asylum seekers, rejected asylum seekers, immigrants, non-immigrants, migrant workers, refugees, stateless persons, and trafficked persons. This book argues that regardless of their citizenship status, non-citizens should, by virtue of their essential humanity, enjoy all human rights unless exceptional distinctions serve a legitimate State objective and are proportional to the achievement of that objective. Non-citizens should have freedom from arbitrary arrest, arbitrary killing, child labour, forced labour, inhuman treatment, invasions of privacy, refoulement, slavery, unfair trial, and violations of humanitarian law. Additionally, non-citizens should have the right to consular protection, equality, freedom of religion and belief, labour rights (for example, as to collective bargaining, workers' compensation, healthy and safe working conditions, etc.), the right to marry, peaceful association and assembly, protection as minors; and social, cultural, and economic rights. There is a large gap, however, between the rights that international human rights law guarantee to non-citizens and the realities they face. In many countries, non-citizens are confronted with institutional and endemic discrimination and suffering. The situation has worsened since 11 September 2001, as several governments have detained or otherwise violated the rights of non-citizens in response to fears of terrorism. This book attempts to understand and respond to the challenges of international human rights law guarantees for non-citizens human rights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages288
ISBN (Electronic)9780191720086
ISBN (Print)9780199547821
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© D. Weissbrodt 2008. All rights reserved.


  • Asylum Seekers
  • Discrimination
  • Human Rights
  • Immigrants
  • Migrant Workers
  • Non-Citizens
  • Non-Immigrants
  • Refugees
  • Stateless Persons
  • Trafficked Persons


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