JDR Vol.17 No.3 pp. 301-307
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2022.p0301


Introduction to Dignity Law

James R. May and Erin Daly

Delaware Law School, Widener University
4601 Concord Pike, Wilmington, Delaware 19803, USA

Corresponding author

September 29, 2021
February 23, 2022
April 1, 2022
migration, dignity, human rights, migration with dignity, dignity rights

This article introduces the idea of human dignity as a legal concept and demonstrates how that idea can be used to protect people who migrate. Migration involves moving from one place of residence to another, within a country or across an international border, temporarily, or permanently, for myriad reasons. Dignity is an inherent human quality that embodies the equal worth of every person, everywhere. Dignity matters to migrants because it is inherent in the human person and inalienable; it therefore travels with migrants wherever they go, it does not depend on government grace and it cannot be abridged by governmental or private action. Because it reflects equal worth, it demands that migrants are treated by public and private actors as having the same inherent worth and value as every other person, whether they are citizens or not. This means that every person has the same right as any other person to have their dignity respected, in terms of quality of life, access to services, security, and every other way that matters. While dignity rights are reflected in most of the world’s constitutions and are embedded in human rights law at the international, regional, national, and subnational levels, they must be implemented and applied for the benefit of people who migrate within countries and across borders.

Cite this article as:
J. May and E. Daly, “Introduction to Dignity Law,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.17 No.3, pp. 301-307, 2022.
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