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Honorary citizen

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Honorary citizen

Honorary citizenship is a status bestowed by a country to a foreign individual whom it considers to be especially admirable or otherwise worthy of the distinction.

Historically, many states limited citizenship to only a proportion of their population, thereby creating a citizen class with political rights superior to other sections of the population, but equal with each other. The classical example of a limited citizenry was Athens where slaves, women, and resident foreigners (called metics) were excluded from political rights. The Roman Republic forms another example (see Roman citizenship).

North America

By act of United States Congress and presidential assent, honorary United States citizenship has been awarded to only seven individuals.

Honorary Canadian citizenship requires the unanimous approval of Parliament. The only people to ever receive honorary Canadian citizenship are Raoul Wallenberg posthumously in 1985, Nelson Mandela in 2001, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso in 2006, Aung San Suu Kyi in 2007 Prince Karim Aga Khan in 2009 and Malala Yousafzai in 2013.

Europe

In Germany honorary citizenship is awarded by cities, towns and sometimes federal states. The honorary citizenship ends with the death of the honoured, or, in exceptional cases, when it is taken away by the council or parliament of the city, town, or state. In the case of war criminals, all such honours were taken away by "Article VIII, section II, letter i of the directive 38 of the Allied Control Council for Germany" on October 12, 1946. In some cases, honorary citizenship was taken away from members of the former GDR regime, e.g. Erich Honecker, after the collapse of the GDR in 1989/90.

In Ireland, honorary citizenship bestowed on a foreigner is full legal citizenship including the right to reside and vote.[1]

Examples

Template:Honorary Citizenship

Footnotes

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