The Universal Declaration of Human Rights describes rights as the "foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world." Human rights give expression to the inherent dignity and equality of all human beings; they need not be justified on instrumental terms. Perhaps for this reason, the question of whether respect for migrant rights has economic benefits for countries of origin or destination has received scant attention in the academic and policy literature. But since policymakers will be more likely to protect and promote migrants' rights if they have economic incentives to do so, this is an important issue to consider.
Respect for rights in migrant-sending countries can help to secure remittances, attract other forms of diaspora investment, and effect social and political change. Rights-respecting countries tend to be politically stable and better able to develop and retain human capital - important factors in the decision-making calculus of investors. Strong institutions and the rule of law also assure foreign and diaspora investors that regulations will be fair and transparent, that property rights will be honored, that agreements will be enforced, and the investment environment will be predictable. Low levels of corruption incentivize financial remittances by ensuring that monies will be used as intended. And this process can be mutually reinforcing: values, norms, knowledge, or skills imparted by the disapora (sometimes called "social remittances") can help strengthen rights, gender equality and core institutions in sending countries.