Tuesday 12 December 2017

Angelina Jolie Pitt warns of 'politics of fear' over refugee crisis

Angelina Jolie Pitt is a UNHCR special envoy
Angelina Jolie Pitt is a UNHCR special envoy

Concerns over uncontrolled migration have allowed a politics of fear to grow when it comes to the present-day refugee crisis, Angelina Jolie Pitt has warned.

The actress, who is special envoy for the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) , gave a keynote address as part of a special day on the BBC dedicated to issues raised by the mass movement of people around the world.

The Oscar winner said the refugee crisis presents a "once-in-a-generation moment when nations have to pull together".

She said the responsibility to help refugees and deal with the issue is one for ordinary people as well as the authorities.

Speaking to an audience at the BBC radio theatre - which included schoolchildren, some of whom had experience of migration - she said: "This is a duty that falls on all of us."

Jolie Pitt said she recognised the fears of people who feel "angry" and "cheated" by the huge numbers crossing borders around the world, and said those concerns have eroded public confidence in the ability of institutions in power to deal with the issue.

She said: "It has given space to a false air of legitimacy to those who promote the politics of fear and separation.

"It has created the risk of a race to the bottom, with countries competing to be the toughest in the hope of protecting themselves whatever the cost or challenge to their neighbours and despite their international responsibilities."

Press Association

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