What Is Liberty Abode and the Right to Travel?

Liberty abode and the right to travel are constitutionally guaranteed rights in many countries where liberty abode means that a person has a right to live wherever they wish, and the right to travel means that a person has a right to travel wherever they wish. It is considered a part of domestic law in most countries and is an accepted principle of international law.

The universal declaration of human rights states that, “Everyone has the right to leave any country including his own,” and “The right to travel and to freedom of movement is a fundamental right.” However, these rights extend only to those with passports. Passports must be given out to all deserving and approved citizens. The international law does state that the rights of liberty abode and the right to travel will not apply to criminals who are attempting to avoid penalties or to political agitators.

An example of these rights can be seen in the 2002 case Gurung Kesh Babdur v. Director of Immigration in Hong Kong. A citizen of Nepal moved to Hong Kong with his wife in 1995, and his wife was a resident of Hong Kong. There he created two businesses and then attempted to travel abroad in 1997. He was denied entry upon returning to Hong Kong. The Court of Final Appeal did not uphold this denial and allowed him to re-enter the country because the law afforded non-permanent residents of Hong Kong the right to travel, and restricting this man’s ability to travel would have gone against the Basic Law rights.