Language, mobility and inclusion: Legal perspectives

Rob Dunbar, Róisín McKelvey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The most significant way in which states regulate mobility is through laws and policies on immigration and naturalisation. Increasingly, states are requiring that migrants demonstrate specified levels of competence in the official language at various points in the immigration process. Frequently, such requirements can pose a barrier to many migrants, and may have a negative impact that affects members of certain groups disproportionately. States justify such language requirements on the basis that fluency in the official language promotes greater inclusion, and enhances life chances of migrants in the new country. However, by frequently failing to provide any form of mother tongue education for children of migrants, states themselves frustrate the achievement of such levels of fluency. Inclusion is also facilitated by ensuring that migrant have effective access to crucial public services such as health care, social services, and so forth. However, for many migrants, language is a barrier to accessing such services as effectively as other members of society. In most of these areas, international obligations do not provide sufficient responses, although important principles in international human rights, particularly the principle of non-discrimination and equal protection of the law, and the principle of proportionality, may provide a more adequate response.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Interdisciplinary Language Policy
EditorsFrançois Grin, László Marácz, Nike Pokorn
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
ISBN (Electronic)9789027258274
ISBN (Print)9789027210159
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Language, mobility and inclusion: Legal perspectives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this