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  • In 1960, the United Nations called for independence for all colonial countries. Yet, as of 2015,

  • 17 regions around the world remain colonies, also known asNon-Self-Governing-Territories”.

  • So where are there still colonies?

  • Well, to start, a colony, is typically a distant country or area, controlled and protected

  • by another country. However, there can be subtle legal distinctions between colonies,

  • and similarly controlled territories - likecommonwealths”, orspecial administrative

  • regions”. Distinctions are based on levels of autonomy-from, or dependence-onparent

  • countries. For instance, because they are said to be more autonomous, the UN doesn’t

  • classify places like Puerto Rico and Macau ascolonies”. Though, they have a colonial

  • past.

  • Colonization has been practiced by all major nations for centuries. However, a bulk of

  • territory was acquired during a long period of expansion following the 15th centuryAge

  • of Discovery”.  England was especially prolific, and their colonies could be found

  • on every continent. France also owned many territories, especially in Africa. Spain claimed

  • much of the Americas. And Portugal, Italy, and the Netherlands also had several colonies

  • between them. The United States acquired numerous Pacific Island nations later in the 1800s.

  • But after World War 2, the practice of colonization was brought into question, and human rights

  • became a larger issue. When the UN was formed in 1945, its purpose statement included a

  • commitment to respectequal rights and self-determination of peoples”. At the time,

  • nearly a third of the world, or 750 million people were residents in colonies. And often,

  • they weren’t given adequate representation inparentcountriesgovernments.

  • According to the UN, the world’s remaining colonies are now presided over by the United

  • Kingdom, the United States, France, New Zealand, and a few other disputed powers. Currently,

  • the most populous colonies are: Western Sahara, with half a million people, and French Polynesia

  • and New Caledonia, both with about a quarter of a million people.  

  • Western Sahara, called theLast African Colony”, was a Spanish territory until 1976.

  • But even after Spain relinquished the colony, it’s been occupied by their northern neighbor,

  • Morocco. Western Sahara has never been able to establish complete independence for itself.

  • French Polynesia and New Caledonia are both islands colonized by France during the late

  • 19th century. They are located near Australia in the Pacific Ocean, and they are also called

  • collectivitiesof France.

  • Complete decolonization will probably be a long process, even as the United Nations continues

  • to petition for full sovereignty among all countries. A continued dialogue between colonial

  • territories is needed, and a strong commitment to appropriate representation of local populations.

  • One former colony has a very unique relationship with it’s native peopleAustralia. You

  • can watch that video next, by clicking the link in the description! Thanks for joining

  • us on TestTube News! Well see you next time.

In 1960, the United Nations called for independence for all colonial countries. Yet, as of 2015,

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