World

Malala Yousafzai Receives Honourary Citizenship From Canada, Praises Refugee Embrace

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (R) presents Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai with honourary Canadian citizenship during a ceremony in the Library of Parliament on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, April 12, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Chris Wattie

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (R) presents Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai with honourary Canadian citizenship during a ceremony in the Library of Parliament on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, April 12, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Chris Wattie

Ottawa: Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai on Wednesday (April 12) received honourary Canadian citizenship and praised Canada’s open embrace of refugees under the liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Canada last year accepted 25,000 refugees from Syria. In January, when US President Donald Trump issued an immigration ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries, Trudeau pointedly tweeted that refugees were welcome in Canada.

Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai addresses a joint session of parliament in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, April 12, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Chris Wattie

Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai addresses a joint session of parliament in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, April 12, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Chris Wattie

“Your motto and your stand – Welcome to Canada – is more than a headline or a hashtag,” Yousafzai said in an address to legislators in the Canadian parliament.

“I pray that you continue to open your homes and your hearts to the world’s most defenceless children and families,” she said.

Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai (C) receives a standing ovation while standing with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau during a joint session of parliament in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, April 12, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Chris Wattie

Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai (C) receives a standing ovation while standing with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau during a joint session of parliament in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, April 12, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Chris Wattie

Yousafzai, a Pakistani education activist who came to prominence when a Taliban gunman shot her in the head in 2012, is only the sixth person to receive honourary Canadian citizenship.

Other recipients include Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.