Angelina Jolie has joined forces with Baroness Arminka Helic in an attempt to make sense of the refugee crisis. The two have written a piece for The Times, outlining the manner in which they believe we should tackle the crisis.
The letter asks for a clear distinction to be made between economic migrants – those fleeing “extreme poverty” – and those “facing an immediate need to be saved from persecution and death.” Meanwhile appealing for us to “live up to our highest ideals” in responding to these circumstances.
“All people on the move in these tragic circumstances must have their human rights and dignity respected and their needs understood and addressed. We should not stigmatise anyone for the aspiration to a better life.”
The piece also goes on to address how donation and acceptance of refugees will, however, not be enough.
“However much we welcome refugees on our shores, the problem will grow so long as the conflict in Syria continues. We cannot donate our way out of the crisis, we cannot solve it simply by taking in refugees, we have to find a diplomatic route to end the conflict.”
The letter then went on:
“It is staggering that since the beginning of the war in Syria, the United Nations security council has yet to visit the region, which many of us would see as an essential starting point for diplomacy. The peace initiative that started in Geneva four years ago has petered out, and the energy with which the Iranian nuclear negotiations were conducted has failed so far to materialise for Syria.”
“It is time to look for long-term solutions and to recognise that governments, not refugees, have to provide the answer…The way we respond now will confirm what kind of countries we are, the depth of our humanity and the strength of our democracies.”