Vattel’s Droit des Gens is a milestone in the historical development of modern international law. Published in 1758, the treatise - among the many aspects studied - analyzes the theme of the ius migrandi. In the combined perspective of natural law and the law of nations, Vattel studies the concept of migration with regard to two specific aspects: on the one hand, the right to leave one's own country and on the other "the right to live somewhere". Under the first profile, the author questions the existence and the content of the right of the individual citizen to leave the country and the society of which he is a member, paying particular attention to the concept and role of the social contract. Under the second profile of analysis the migration phenomenon is analyzed with reference to the natural right of man to “live somewhere”. The theme is therefore linked to the delicate issue of the right to asylum. This dual perspective opens the argumentative framework on a further controversial aspect: the duties (and at the same time the rights) of a Nation towards asylum seekers.


Keywords: right to emigrate; natural law; law of nations; social contract.