Introduction – What about the rights of individuals in International Law?
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) April 22, 2020
I have recently written two posts here and here discussing how countries interact and respect the sovereignty of other countries. Specifically those posts have discussed how countries respect each others sovereignty in the areas or citizenship and taxation. Neither of these posts considered the rights of individuals (do they matter at all?). This omission was reflected in (at least) the following two comments:
Where in this subject comes the human rights issue, the freedom to choose one’s citizenship? Has the EU Court of Human Rights ever issued a statement on this question?
Okay, then, what about all those defectors from the USSR and other East Bloc countries? How come their obligations to Moscow, etc. weren’t respected? Did these countries not possess sovereignty? Does being a refugee or asylum seeker trump the obligations of citizenship in the state from which one has fled?
The purpose of this post is to outline (in a very basic way) the development of international agreements (perhaps not treaties) and protocols, where nations agreed that individuals should have rights (sounds radical doesn’t it). Note that the focus in this post will be on agreements among countries that recognize individual rights associated with citizenship (and other kinds of rights).