Comte, Emmanuel. “Between realism and fairness: reflection to help the United Nations face the global migration challenge”, CIDOB Report 6 (September 2020).
This piece, written for the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations, proposes a reflection on the global migration challenge. At the borders of the rich world today, the level of coercive restrictions against migrants from less developed countries is unprecedented. If the UN was to design a global migration regime organised around a sound theory of justice, what would it look like? Applying John Rawls' investigations on justice as fairness suggests that it would entail complete freedom to migrate worldwide and to access jobs in rich countries. The distribution of interests and power in favour of rich countries makes it impossible, however, for UN actions to bridge the gap between the current world and a world that a consistent theory of justice would organise. As an intermediary step, this piece proposes to foster specific regional schemes of migratory liberalisation.