Angelina Jolie’s compassionate speech last Sunday, June 20, gave a more humane perspective to the fate of being a refugee.
On World Refugee Day, the Hollywood actress visited Burkina Faso’s Goudoubo refugee camp in the central city of Kaya, West Africa and delivered a speech on the plight of those who had to abandon their homeland and live the life of displacement.
“There is nowhere I would rather be today than here, with refugees, the people I admire most in the world,” said Jolie, also the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Special Envoy.
The actress praised Burkina Fasco for embracing refugees; the country and its neighbor Niger and Mali had to endure violent militant attacks related to al Qaeda and Islamic State.
“I’m here to show my solidarity to the Bukinabe people who continue to welcome the displaced brothers and sisters despite terrible attacks and challenges, sharing what little they have at a time when other countries with far more have closed their borders and their minds to the refugees,” she said.
Seeing that there would be more people forced to live as refugees in the future due to climate change and military conflicts, the 46-year-old actress dressed in her headscarf condemns the way international communities see the problem.
“The way the international community tries to address conflict and insecurity is broken,” she said. “It is erratic, it is unequal, it is built on inherited privilege, it is subject to the whim of political leaders, and it is geared towards the interests of powerful countries, including my own, at the expense of others.”
On Friday, June 18, the United Nations reviewed that the amount of world refugees has doubled compared to the past decade, which has accelerated to 82.4 million by the end of 2020. This figure includes those who had to flee their homeland due to conflict, persecution, and human rights abuses, reported by Reuters.
The issue with immigrants and refugees is divided among U.S. lawmakers. Many officials, as well as former President Donald Trump, believe that lax policies will expose its country to potential terrorists in disguise, along with drug smugglers, and human traffickers.
However, in terms of the innocent refugees’ predicament, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi argued it was unfair for all of them to be treated as potential national threats.
“To say that the only way to address this population flow is by building walls or pushing people back at sea is morally despicable or unspeakable. These are human beings,” Grandi said. “Whatever the motive for the flight or for the movement human beings deserve full dignity like everybody else.”
For Angelina Jolie, she pointed to more help from international communities to reduce the number of world refugees, which had been inconsequential.
“The truth is we are not doing half of what we could and should do to find solutions to enable refugees to return home—or to support host countries, like Burkina Faso,” she noted.