Angelina Jolie wasn’t alone, as she toured Turkey on June 20, redoubling her humanitarian efforts in honor of World Refugee Day. Ms. Jolie was joined by 9-year-old Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, as she expressed her feelings at Midyat Refugee Camp in Mardin.
“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,” Angelina 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.”
Ms. Jolie added that the problem is spreading, creating hardships for surrounding countries.
“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.”
Throughout the weekend, Ms. Jolie and Shiloh walked hand-in-hand, while they toured villages from Lebanon on Friday to Syrian and Iraqi refugee camps on Saturday.
“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,” Ms. Jolie urged. “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.”
Angelina called on worldwide leaders from heads of governments to inspirational spiritual ministers to make these issues a top concern and to take action to make necessary changes.
“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,” Jolie 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.”
Angelina Jolie also paid special tribute to those celebrating the holy month of Ramadan in Turkey and throughout the world.
[Featured image: Angelina Jolie and Shiloh Jolie-Pitt courtesy of Murat Kaynak/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]