First World Privilege

First World privilege, similar to white privilege and male privilege, is the unearned advantages accrued by an individual by virtue of being a national of a First World country.

The concept is important for those considering advantages gained, due to institutional beliefs, prejudice and legal barriers, because of one’s nationality rather than one’s race or sex. Countries included in the first world class include Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, United States, Japan and Western Europe.

First-World privilege is often explicitly promoted by legal means such as immigration and trade barriers. Further it is asserted that very few nations have laws that prevent explicit discrimination on the basis of nationality for access to employment, promotions, education, scholarships, etc., and in contrast, laws of many nations actively encourage the discrimination against foreign nationals, for employment and educational purposes, via stringent immigration requirements, exorbitant fees, devaluation of educational qualifications, and scholarship quotas that usually favor citizens from developed nations.

First World nations usually have mutual trade and immigration arrangements and treaties that limit the discrimination faced by First-World nationals regarding employment, education and business in other First World countries. The existence of discriminatory laws and barriers across the world, according to First World privilege theory, on balance systematically favor the employment, business, access to education and health care, and subsequently welfare of citizens of First World nations at the cost of the welfare and oppression of the people of developing nations.

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