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Residence and Citizenship Planning

The Search is on for Inspirational Global Citizens

18 April 2016

Henley & Partners is looking for individuals who have made an extraordinary contribution towards improving the global community and creating a more understanding, more tolerant world. Nominations for the prestigious annual Global Citizen Award have now opened and the 2016 laureate will be honored at a gala fundraising dinner for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in London on 11 November 2016. As global leaders in residence and citizenship planning, Henley & Partners has joined forces with the UNHCR to assist with the registration and documentation of refugees around the world.

The annual laureate is chosen by an Award Committee, an independent body of seven distinguished individuals including:

  • Her Royal Highness Princess Firyal of Jordan
  • Her Excellency Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, President of the Republic of Malta
  • Senator Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam, Secretary of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces, Senate of France, Paris
  • Professor Dr. Khalid Koser OBE, Executive Director of GCERF and Vice-Chairman of the Advisory Council on Migration, World Economic Forum, Geneva
  • Leigh Foster, Chief of Events, Campaigns and Goodwill Ambassadors, UNHCR, Geneva
  • Dr. Marek Urban CSsR, Councilor of the Henley & Partners Foundation, Kraków
  • Namira Salim, Global Explorer and Artist, Monaco


Leigh Foster of the UNHCR says the committee is looking for inspirational individuals who demonstrate extraordinary vision, courage and commitment. “Ideally we want to honor those whose work is innovative and visionary.  A candidate’s work should also have a positive impact on the lives of the most vulnerable in society,” explains Foster.

The selection process is confidential and made by a majority decision. The award itself consists of a specially made commemorative medal, an Award Certificate signed by the President of the Award Committee and a USD 50,000 monetary prize, of which USD 25,000 is donated to the UNHCR.

Dr. Christian H. Kalin, a leading international immigration and citizenship law specialist and Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, says the registration of refugees is the first critical step towards ensuring their protection. “More than 60 million people worldwide are currently displaced as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence and human rights violations. Registering refugees and providing them with an identity document is the first critical step towards ensuring they get the assistance and protection they need, dramatically improving their chances of survival. Without documentation papers, uprooted people lose their identity and are unable to access the fundamental UNHCR services necessary to take control of their lives again and begin the process of tracing their families,” explains Kalin.

Last year, the Global Citizen Award was presented to German entrepreneur Harald Höppner who founded the refugee aid project Sea Watch. The non-profit organization has rescued thousands of refugees from capsized boats during their patrols of the Mediterranean Sea. “Over the past fifteen years, more than 23,000 people have died trying to reach Europe’s shores. Our teams of highly professional, motivated and dedicated volunteers have already saved hundreds of lives. We recently started working between Lesbos, a small Aegean Greek island, and the Turkish mainland to prevent further deaths in this part of the Mediterranean Sea, which recorded the highest number of drowned refugees last year,” says Höppner.

Nominations close on 1 July 2016.