Angelina Jolie was humbled to speak to refugees at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Teknaf, Bangladesh but found it deeply upsetting.
The By The Sea star stopped by the refugee camp to meet so many families from the ethnic group Rohingya, who have left the Rakhine State in Myanmar.
Speaking to the refugees, she said: “You have every right not to be stateless and the way you have been treated shames us all. What is most tragic about this situation is that we cannot say we had no warning.”
And discussing with reporters, she added: “It was deeply upsetting to meet the families who have only known persecution and statelessness their whole lives, who speak of being treated like cattle. They have been denied their most basic human right: citizenship in their country of birth. And some still won’t even call the Rohingya by their rightful name … Bangladesh is a generous country rich in culture and history, but with limited resources. And it cannot be left to shoulder the responsibility of hosting Rohingya refugees alone.”
Jolie is a Special Envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee and had previously spoken up, urging people to unite in order to overcome the global refugee crisis.
She said: “We live in divisive times. But history also shows our ability to unite, overcome a global crisis, and renew our sense of purpose and community with other nations. That is the greatest strength of an open society. We should not leave the debate to those who would exploit public anxiety for political advantage. We are being tested today and our response will be the measure of our humanity.”