Angelina Jolie has hit out the “politics of fear” that she says is putting the lives of millions of displaced people at risk. Speaking in her capacity as special refugees’ envoy to the UN, the superstar actress said the fear of uncontrolled migration had led to a “race to the bottom” as countries compete to see who is toughest on the issue. Jolie, who is married to fellow actor Brad Pitt, said this had seen countries neglect their responsibilities to the millions of people driven from their homes by war and famine. She highlighted the fact that the average refugee remains a refugee for 20 years, and said that the scale of the crisis was unprecedented, with many refugees not being able to return home.
With this then the state of today’s world, is it any surprise that some of these desperate people, who are running out of all options and who see no hope of returning home, would make a push for Europe as a last resort, even at the risk of death?
Jolie, 40, was speaking as part of the BBC’s World on the Move day of coverage of global migration issues. She said the “number of conflicts and scale of displacement had grown so large” the system to protect and return refugees was not working. She warned that amid a “fear of uncontrolled migration” countries were “competing to be the toughest, in the hope of protecting themselves whatever the cost or challenge to their neighbours, and despite their international responsibilities”. Isolationism was not the answer, she argued. Earlier, Francois Crepeau, a UN envoy for human rights has criticised the European Union’s response to the refugee crisis as showing a “lack of vision”, operating under legal ambiguity, and backing the detention of newly arrived migrants in Greece.