Angelina Jolie has continued her humanitarian efforts with her children. The By the Sea actress and her 9-year-old daughter, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, traveled to Turkey on Saturday, June 20, in honor of World Refugee Day.
Jolie, 40, voiced her concerns while visiting the Midyat Refugee Camp in Mardin. Her statement has since been published in its entirety on The UN Refugee Agency website.
“We are here for a simple reason: This region is at the epicenter of a global crisis. Nearly 60 million people are displaced from their homes. That is one in every 122 people on our planet. Our world has never been richer or healthier or more advanced. Yet never before have so many people been dispossessed and stripped of their basic human rights,” she said. “We should call this what it is: not just a ‘refugee crisis,’ but a crisis of global security and governance, that is manifesting itself in the worst refugee crisis ever recorded – and a time of mass displacement.”
She continued: “People are running out of places to run to. If you are an Iraqi or a Syrian fleeing violence, where do you go? Every border country is being pushed beyond its limits.”
Jolie also noted in her speech that she traveled to Lebanon on Friday. On Saturday, she and Shiloh walked through a Syrian and Iraqi refugee camp while holding hands. Jolie wore an all-black outfit while Shiloh kept close in a blue T-shirt.
“These are not economic migrants looking for a better life, these are desperate refugees who are fleeing war and persecution. The average stay in a refugee camp is 17 years. Think of your own life,” Jolie pleaded. “Think of what that would mean. For many, it is their entire childhood. During displacement you might be able to get an education, or continue your education. But very likely, you will not.”
In light of this, Jolie hopes that international community and leaders, as well as ministers and ambassadors, will help to make a change.
“We have the tools we need – the resolutions, the doctrines, the conventions, the courts. But if these tools are misused, inconsistently applied or applied in a self-serving way, we will continue on this trend of displacement and it will grow and grow,” she said. “It is inhumane to expect all of these families to tolerate this kind of life. We all know what needs to be done, we must do better. And it is self-evident that we have to start with Syria.”
She added: “To all the families here, and around our world, marking this Holy Month, I say, ‘Ramadan Kareem.’ And I pay tribute to refugees themselves – the people we rightly celebrate today, not only here in Turkey but around the world.”
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