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FOCUS December 2017 Volume 90

Foreigners and Human Rights


The words “All,” “Every,” “Everyone” among other terms embody the non-discrimination and equality principles of the international human rights standards. These simple words matter to those who have been marginalized or restricted by the legal, social, economic and cultural systems of a country. In many cases and for a number of reasons, foreigners are in this situation. 

Under the international human rights standards, foreigners in any country have the same human rights enjoyed by the citizens, except for a few political rights related to the governance of the country (right to vote and be voted into public office, for example).

But foreigners have to contend with other limitations or restrictions under domestic laws and challenges brought by societal attitude. As a result, foreigners are liable to suffer from different forms of discrimination and restriction as well as legal problems. This situation constitutes a serious obstacle to the enjoyment by foreigners of their human rights in the family, school, workplace and community. 

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