Angelina Jolie has spoken out against the the negative treatment of refugees on World Refugee Day

By Ale Russian
June 20, 2018 11:15 AM

Angelina Jolie has spoken out against the the negative treatment of refugees on World Refugee Day.

The activist and actress, 43, who serves as a Special Envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, wrote a powerful op-ed for The Economist where she condemns any nation fighting back against helping the millions of refugees around the world. In it, she appears to be taking aim at President Donald Trump’s administration and their new “zero-tolerance policy” that is separating children from their parents at the U.S. border to Mexico.

“It is not surprising that there is deep public concern: not because people are heartless, but because this is not a sustainable situation,” she writes. “But the answer is not countries adopting harsh unilateral measures that target refugees, and run counter to our values and our responsibilities. That will only inflame the problem.”

Angelina Jolie with a Syrian refugee earlier this year
Ivor Prickett/UNHCR

The Oscar winner has been fighting for refugees ever since she was announced as a special envoy for the UN HCR in 2012 after first starting as a ambassador in 2001. Though Jolie first focused on Cambodian refugees, she has since advocated for all refugees around the world and visited a Syrian refugee camp earlier this year.

“A refugee is a man, woman or child at their most vulnerable: forced from their home, living without the protection of their state, and in many cases without the bare means of survival,” she writes. “It is the human condition that tests our belief that all human beings have equal rights and deserve protection.”

After outlining all the ways nations across the world can help the severely underfunded efforts, Jolie addressed how the public can help by fighting back against apathy and getting involved in the cause.

“We live in divisive times. But history also shows our ability to unite, overcome a global crisis, and renew our sense of purpose and community with other nations,” she writes. “That is the greatest strength of an open society. We should not leave the debate to those who would exploit public anxiety for political advantage. We are being tested today and our response will be the measure of our humanity.”

To learn more about World Refugee Day, visit the United Nations website.