Angelina Jolie Talks Refugee Crisis In Powerful Piece, Points Out Millions Are Being Deprived Of Their ‘Rights, Liberty & Physical Safety’
Angelina Jolie is speaking out about the refugee crisis in a powerful new piece for Time.
Jolie, special envoy of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, referenced the U.N. Refugee Agency’s latest annual report, stating, “Nearly 80 million people — the highest number since records began, according to available data — have been forced from their homes by extreme persecution and violence, and are living as refugees, asylum seekers or people displaced within their own countries.”
Jolie writes, “These are people fleeing attacks on schools and hospitals, mass sexual violence, the siege and starvation of whole cities, the murderous oppression of terrorist groups, and decades of institutionalized persecution based on religion, gender or sexuality.”
She starts her piece: “As the burning injustice of discrimination and racism in America bursts to the forefront, we must also address persecution and oppression rising globally, depriving millions of their rights, their liberty and their physical safety.”
Jolie adds: “Collectively, nations seem to have stopped regarding human displacement as a temporary, man-made phenomenon we have the power to influence. We are quick to criticize the human rights records of adversaries but silent when conflicts creating displacement and misery involve our allies… In our school years, we Americans are not taught enough to respect and admire the cultures and contributions of countries with histories far longer than our own.”
“What has become clear to me through my work is that the fight for human rights and equality is universal. It is one fight, wherever we live, and however different our circumstances might be,” she continues. “There is a dividing line running across our world between those who have rights and freedom and those who do not. Who we choose to stand with, and how much we are prepared to change and to fight, should not stop at our borders.”
Jolie’s latest piece for Time comes after she spoke about some of the atrocities she’d witnessed in Syria in another emotional essay earlier this year.
As well as visiting Syria, Jolie also spent time in Maicao, Colombia, at a refugee camp, last June, and spent three days in the world’s largest refugee settlement, home to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, in Bangladesh, that February.
Over the years she’s also met Rohingya refugees in Myanmar back in 2015 and in India in 2006.