In an effort to bring awareness to one of the largest refugee crises in history, Angelina Jolie visited the affected region. She stopped at the Midyat Refugee Camp in Turkey on June 20 th to commemorate World Refugee Day.
Angelina Jolie was also accompanied by Antonio Guterres. The group met with Turkish officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to discuss the challenges that Turkey faces given an unprecedented number of refugees.
“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.”
"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."
"My first message is that it is due time for people to respect the plight of refugees and see their value. We must protect them, and invest in them. They are not a problem, they are part of the solution to this global crisis."
"I plead to the international community and leaders of the world to recognise what this moment in mass human displacement means. This is not just another day."
Turkey, which has taken in 1.8 million Syrian refugees since the conflict started in 2011, has repeatedly complained that it has been left to shoulder an unfair burden. A vast majority of the refugees are Syrians, Kurds and Iraqis fleeing the violence of the Syrian Civil War and ongoing crisis involving the Islamic State.
Later in her speech Angelina Jolie stressed the impact that refugee camps have on the people that house them. While providing more security than war torn cities and villages, the camps more often than not make the poor even worse off.
“Families like the six young people I met yesterday, living in Lebanon without parents, on half food rations and paying US$100 a month to live in a tent because UNHCR does not have the funds or capability to take full care of everyone.”
Already with limited resources and away from home, refugees have the burden of coming up with funds to keep their temporary shelter even though, as refugees, they “cannot legally work in their host-countries.”
On 19.06.2015 Angelina Jolie and Antonio Guterres had been in Lebanon, also to visit Syrian refugee camps.