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FOCUS March 2016 Volume 83



Citizenship is usually based on either blood relationship with the “people” in the country or birth in the country. However, there are people with neither blood nor birth tie to the country where they live and work. In an inclusive, human rights-based perspective, such people should be able to obtain that legal status of citizenship provided they have sufficient relationship with the country (in terms of length of stay, or work, or family, or other relationships). They should be treated as equal members of society even though they may belong to a different race, or have different language and culture, or other factors.

But being a citizen does not always mean living as full member of society. One can be treated as “second class” citizen that means being excluded from many areas of societal functions, or being treated as a burden rather than productive member of society, or still being seen as foreigner regardless of such citizenship status.
Citizenship should not only be seen from the viewpoint of privileges that can be availed of, but from the perspective of contribution to societal well-being in whatever capacity possible.

The value of each citizen should be respected in the sense that there should be no second class citizenry.


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