ISTANBUL, Turkey – Last month, Angelina Jolie Pitt brought her daughter, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, to Turkey to meet refugees in a Syrian refugee camp in honor of World Refugee Day.
According to The U.N. Refugee Agency, there are almost four million registered Syrian refugees, with one million taking refuge in Turkey since the start of the civil war in March 2011. About 30% of these refugees live in government-controlled camps near the border between Syria and Turkey, costing Turkey about $1.2 billion.
Shiloh Jolie-Pitt joined her mother on a tour of one of the camps. Exiting the camps, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt smiled for photos surrounded by fans, paparazzi and refugees. Despite the mother and daughter’s looks of happiness in the photos, the visit had a disparaging effect on Angelina Jolie-Pitt. After she explored the camps, the long-time humanitarian said that there was “an explosion” of incomparable dislocation and pain, in a speech given to U.N. officials and the Turkish president.
An Amnesty International report said that the international community’s response to the refugee crisis is appalling. “We need a radical overhaul of policy and practice to create a coherent and comprehensive global strategy,” the report insisted.
Angelina Jolie-Pitt, who is a Special Envoy of the United of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said that she was worried that there was limited space and materials for the influx of refugees.
“It is hard to point to a single instance where, as an international community, we are decisively addressing the root causes of refugee flows,” Angelina Jolie-Pitt lamented.
The actress also added that the situation has created a global security problem.
“I plead to the international community and leaders of the world to recognize what this moment in mass human displacement means.”
Other countries have reacted alternatively to the increase of refugees. Hungary plans to construct a large fence to stop the movement of refugees into the country. Some organizations, including Amnesty International, are working to create a proposal to change legislation to protect refugees.
Angelina Jolie-Pitt’s speech covered several of the same topics that Amnesty International’s report enclosed. Each said that the need for international aid is at an all-time high.
“This is not just another day. This World Refuge Day marks some frightening truths about our inability to manage international crisis—about our inability to broker peace and find lasting solutions,” Angelina Jolie-Pitt said.
In April, 900 refugees from the Mediterranean area died because of strict border control. Many lives could be spared if international governments acknowledge Angelina Jolie-Pitt’s speech and the cries of help from those fleeing from their unsafe homes.
To learn more about the current refugee crisis, and to read Angelina Jolie-Pitt’s full speech, visit unhcr.org.
– Fallon Lineberger