Honorary Citizenship

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.

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 and Prince Karim Aga Khan in 2009.

In 2002 South Korea awarded honorary citizenship to Dutch football (soccer) coach Guus Hiddink who successfully and unexpectedly took the national team to the semi-finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Honorary citizenship was also awarded to Hines Ward, a black Korean American football player, in 2006 for his efforts to minimize discrimination in Korea against half-Koreans.

American actress Angelina Jolie received an honorary Cambodian citizenship in 2005 due to her humanitarian efforts. In 2011, singer-songwriter Lady Gaga was awarded honorary Australian citizenship for her activism within the LGBT community. Cricketers Matthew Hayden and Herschelle Gibbs were awarded honorary citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis in March 2007 due to their record-breaking innings in the 2007 Cricket World Cup.

In Germany the 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 in fact full legal citizenship including the right to reside and vote.

According to the Chapter II, Article 29, Paragraph 'e)' of the Cuban Constitution, Cuban citizens by birth are those foreigners who, by virtue of their exceptional merits won in the struggles for Cuba’s liberation, were considered Cuban citizens by birth. Che Guevara was made an honorary citizen of Cuba by Fidel Castro for his part in the Cuban Revolution, of which Guevara later renounced in his well known farewell letter.

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), and, more recently, the nobility of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had some of the same characteristics.

Honorary citizenship around the world
  • Berlin
  • Canada
  • Revolutionary France
  • Gyumri
  • Hamburg
  • Ireland
  • Paris
  • Schleswig-Holstein
  • Singapore
  • United States
  • Zagreb

Other articles related to "honorary citizenship, honorary, citizenship":

Matthew Festing - Titles, Styles and Honours - Honours and Decorations - Honorary Citizenship
... Honorary citizen of the city of Rapallo (Italy, 16 September 1991). ...
Renato Bruson - Honors and Awards
... Bruson has received numerous honors, including Honorary citizenship of Fermo Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Urbino Honorary citizenship of ...
AMCIT - Honorary Citizenship
... The title of "Honorary Citizen of the United States" has been granted seven times by an act of Congress or by a proclamation issued by the President pursuant to ... citizenship, but this is not considered honorary citizenship ...
Aminatou Haidar - Awards and Recognition
... Haidar has also been named an honorary citizen or otherwise decorated by numerous Spanish and Italian institutions ... In October 2006,she was named "Honorary Citizen" by the town council of Naples for her activity on defending human rights ... Italian municipality of Sesto Fiorentino appointed Haidar as "Honorary Citizen" of the village, for her "non-violent struggle for liberty and human rights ...

Famous quotes containing the word citizenship:

    Our citizenship in the United States is our national character. Our citizenship in any particular state is only our local distinction. By the latter we are known at home, by the former to the world. Our great title is AMERICANS—our inferior one varies with the place.
    Thomas Paine (1737–1809)