Dependent territory

A dependent territory, dependent area, or dependency (sometimes referred as an external territory) is a territory that does not possess full political independence or sovereignty as a sovereign state, yet remains politically outside the controlling state's integral area.

A dependent territory is commonly distinguished from a country subdivision by being considered not to be a constituent part of a sovereign state. An administrative subdivision, instead, is understood to be a division of a state proper. A dependent territory, conversely, often maintains a great degree of autonomy from its controlling state. Historically, most colonies were considered to be dependent territories. Not all autonomous entities, though, are considered to be dependent territories.[1][failed verification] Most inhabited, dependent territories have their own ISO 3166 country codes.

Some political entities inhabit a special position guaranteed by an international treaty or another agreement, thereby creating a certain level of autonomy (e.g. a difference in immigration rules). Those entities are sometimes considered to be, or are at least grouped with, dependent territories,[2] but are officially considered by their governing states to be an integral part of those states.[2] Such an example is Åland, an autonomous region of Finland.

  1. ^ "International Trusteeship System and Trust Territories | The United Nations and Decolonization".
  2. ^ a b "United Nations General Assembly 15th Session – The Trusteeship System and Non-Self-Governing Territories (pages:509–510)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 20, 2012.

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