While people are as mobile as they ever were in our globalized world, the movement of people across borders lacks global regulation. This leaves many refugees in protracted displacement and many migrants unprotected in irregular and dire situations. Meanwhile, some states have become concerned that their borders have become irrelevant. International mobility—the movement of individuals across borders for any length of time as visitors, students, tourists, labor migrants, entrepreneurs, long-term residents, asylum seekers, or refugees—has no common definition or legal framework.

To address this key gap in international law, and the growing gaps in protection and responsibility that are leaving people vulnerable, the Model International Mobility Convention proposes a framework for mobility with the goals of reaffirming the existing rights afforded to mobile people (and the corresponding rights and responsibilities of states) as well as expanding those basic rights where warranted.

The Model Convention has a great starting point, which is reality. There are 244 million human beings on the move around the world for a whole variety of reasons, and that's what we human beings do, we move.

Anne C. Richard, Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration (2012-17)

The Model International Mobility Convention was developed by a Commission of eminent academic and policy experts in the fields on migration, human rights, national security, labor economics and refugee law. The Commission came together to debate and develop the Convention in workshops conducted regularly from spring 2015 until it was finalized in April 2017. A full list of Commission and other signatories to the Convention can be found using the tabs above.

The Columbia Journal of Transnational Law published the Model International Mobility Convention in a Special Issue in January of 2018, which includes 12 commentaries by academics and policymakers in the fields of migration, human rights, national security, labor economics, and refugee law.