As we’ve been pointing out for years, the right to travel is not just a right under the First Amendment to the US Constitution (“the right of the people… peaceably to assemble”) but a human right guaranteed by an international treaty ratified by the US (“the right to freedom of movement”).
But what good is a “human right” guaranteed by international treaty if there is no independent entity to which you can complain, and which has the authority to enforce your rights?
At a minimum, what’s needed is the ability of people whose human rights have been violated by the US government to seek redress through US courts, and the ability of those courts to order the government to comply with its treaty obligations.
Given the US government’s current interpretation of many human rights treaties as not being “self-effectuating”, that would require legislation by Congress to effectuate those treaties by creating a cause of action for treaty violations and give US courts jurisdiction to hear such complaints.
That’s exactly what the UN Human Rights Committee concluded a year ago, following its periodic review of US implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR):
The State party [i.e. the US] should … Taking into account its declaration that provisions of the Covenant are non-self-executing, ensure that effective remedies are available for violations of the Covenant, including those that do not, at the same time, constitute violations of U.S. domestic law, and undertake a review of such areas with a view to proposing to the Congress implementing legislation to fill any legislative gaps.
In the year since this recommendation from the UNHRC, neither the Administration nor any member of Congress has proposed such effectuating legislation for the ICCPR or any other human rights treaty.
So in the meantime, where can you turn if your human rights are violated by the US government?