In the age of heavily restricted migration, passport control seems a natural prerogative of the state. The idea of abolishing passports is almost unthinkable. But in the 20th century, governments considered their “total abolition” as an important goal, and even discussed the issue at several international conferences.
The first passport conference was held in Paris in 1920, under the auspices of the League of Nations (the predecessor of the United Nations). Part of the Committee on Communication and Transit’s aim was to restore the pre-war regime of freedom of movement.
Indeed, for much of the 19th century, as an International Labour Organisation report stated in 1922:
Migration was generally speaking, unhindered and each emigrant could decide on the time of his departure, his arrival or his return, to suit his own convenience.… Seguir leyendo »