She celebrated World Refugee Day in Kenya, not Ethiopia. The assumption was that she would be in Ethiopia when it was announced that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees was scheduled to go to Gambella. They kept plans for her appearance under wraps obviously for her security. She had told Mariane Pearl for ELLE France they were going to Africa but she didn't say exactly where:
What are your projects?
My work and my travels are limited right now for personal reasons. But I look forward to our next trip around World Refugee Day on June 20th. We are going to Africa. And the children love this continent. I think it's important to show them the world in this particular period. In life, one is often led to concentrate only on oneself, and I believe that a broader view of things is fundamental. On June 20th, we're going to be in the company of refugees and members of the U.N. I will also go to the field to document the role of the military in the prevention and suppression of sexual violence as a weapon of war. And I will also continue to teach at the London School of Economics.
It sounded like she intended for the family to be with her but there is no sign of any of them in the photos so far. It's also possible what she meant to say was lost in translation.
As noted in the caption below, she also spoke before participants in the sexual and gender-based violence prevention course at The International Peace Support Training Centre in Nairobi. The trip was of course for UNHCR but perhaps even more for PSVI.
- PSVI is a UK-led and funded initiative, it's no surprise that Arminka Helic and Chloe Dalton are both with her.
- She appears to be wearing both the diamond pendant necklace and ring she had on previously.
- Comment posted on keepingup's instagram post:
- As imperfect as People is, they've worked with them in the past and continue to work with them in instances such as this when there is a message they want to get across.
Angelina Jolie traveled to the African country of Kenya to observe firsthand the progress of the initiative against sexual violence that she helped launch.
The activist and special envoy to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees marked World Refugee Day by meeting adolescent sexual assault survivors in the city of Nairobi, including a girl who was the “same age as my eldest son, who is already a mother to a child born of rape,” she said in a speech.
She then visited the International Peace Support Training Centre in the city to observe a training session for military and police personnel involved in U.N. and African peacekeeping missions. Jolie spoke to the peacekeepers present, giving a speech highlighting how they are at the “The reality is that women and girls, as well as men and boys, can still be raped with near-total impunity in conflict zones around the world,” Jolie, 42, said in a speech exclusively obtained by PEOPLE. “The reality is that a peacekeeper may be the first person one of those traumatized girls encounters after their abuse. As peacekeepers you need to be absolutely clear what to do, because that girl will be frightened, especially of a man with a gun. How do you approach her, will affect her whether she is able to begin to recover or if more damage will be done.”
Jolie meeting with survivors in Kenya
Jolie started the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative in 2012 alongside former Foreign Secretary Lord William Hague of Richmond. Since its founding, the program has trained over 17,000 military and police personnel on sexual violence issues, and the PSVI team of experts has been deployed more than eight times.
“It meant a lot to hear military gender advisors and officers say what they believe and what they want others to understand, that this is not simply about law and human decency. It is about military effectiveness,” Jolie continued in her speech. “If civilians do not have confidence in you as peacekeepers your mission will not succeed. And while this training is clearly only a beginning, it is the only way that we will begin to address the problems: working nation by nation to raise standards and increase effectiveness.” She concluded, “On behalf of victims of sexual violence I want to plead with all of you to take this issue seriously and personally, to use your position and your influence to spread this message within your armed forces and on all the missions on which you serve.”
US actress and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie arrives to give a statement in front of the sexual and gender-based violence prevention course at The International Peace Support Training Centre in Nairobi, June 20, 2017. /REUTERS
Actress and UN special envoy #AngelinaJolie urges better treatment of refugeeshttps://t.co/yA939zlKN7— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) June 20, 2017
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Actress and U.N. refugee agency special envoy Angelina Jolie on Tuesday denounced the impunity with which rape is committed in conflict zones and the mistreatment of vulnerable women and children.
Jolie spoke in Kenya to mark World Refugee Day. She visited a training center on how to prevent sexual violence in conflict and met with refugees from conflicts in Burundi, South Sudan, Somalia and Congo.
“The reality is that women and girls as well as boys and men can still be raped with near-total impunity in conflict zones around the world, and there are still appalling cases of rape and mistreatment of vulnerable women, children and men by peacekeepers sent to protect them,” she said.
Jolie added: “The horror of sexual violence is compounded when it is carried out by someone in uniform who has a taken an oath to protect.”
The way people treat refugees, the majority of who are women and children, is a measure of humanity, she said, according to a statement by the U.N. refugee agency.
“Not only have they had to flee extreme violence or persecution, lost everything and witnessed the death of family members, but they have also had to face so much abuse and intolerance and hardship. They are doing their best to carry on with minimal support, trying to live lives of dignity against impossible odds,” Jolie said.
Kenya is home to nearly 491,000 refugees from conflicts in neighboring countries. A Kenyan court recently stopped the government from closing what had been the world’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab, and sending more than 200,000 people back to Somalia. The court said the government had not proved Somalia is safe for refugees to return.
Angelina Jolie marks World Refugee Day in Nairobi https://t.co/0bBsS41Sia pic.twitter.com/cxmw3LtUVi— News Ghana (@news_ghana) June 20, 2017
#Burundi-ans refugees fled persecution said #Angelina #Jolie at #IPSTC #Nairobi #WorldRefugeeDay pic.twitter.com/XD6kUXJund— Emile Nibasumba (@EmileNibasumba) June 20, 2017
UNHCR special envoy Angelina Jolie marks World Refugee Day in Kenya https://t.co/8bxUkmpS4t via @TheStarKenya— Oliver Mathenge (@OliverMathenge) June 20, 2017
.@Refugees Special Envoy Angelina Jolie in Nairobi with @P4HR colleagues today. https://t.co/sBJeWPgpGH— PHR (@P4HR) June 20, 2017
UNHCR special envoy Angelina Jolie in #Kenya, visits refugee girls https://t.co/FEuwSopeCu pic.twitter.com/12J4cfccgs— Reuters Africa (@ReutersAfrica) June 20, 2017
18:27 UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie is in town marking Worl~more ⇢ https://t.co/6XxF03fNiO pic.twitter.com/yibpwk4E0p via @crimealertkenya— Ma3Route (@Ma3Route) June 20, 2017
UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie in Nairobi, appeals for child refugees
20 June 2017
UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie marked World Refugee Day 2017 visiting adolescent refugee girls in Nairobi. Ms. Jolie met around 20 refugee girls, who are unaccompanied or separated from their parents and are now living in the Heshima Kenya Safe House and participating in a Girls’ Empowerment Programme.
The girls have fled extreme violence or persecution in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), South Sudan, Somalia, Burundi, and Rwanda. Almost all have suffered sexual and gender-based violence, robbing them of their childhoods. Many have given birth after being raped, or are pregnant. They told the Special Envoy about their personal stories and their lives today. Angelina Jolie said:
“Over half of all refugees and displaced people worldwide are women and children. How we treat them is a measure of our humanity as nations. On World Refugee day my only ask is that people consider the pain and suffering of young girls like these. Not only have they had to flee extreme violence or persecution, lost everything and witnessed the death of family members, but they have also had to face so much abuse and intolerance and hardship. They are doing their best to carry on, with minimal support trying to live lives on dignity against impossible odds. It was an honour to spend the day with them.”
It was Angelina Jolie’s third visit to Kenya, home to nearly 491,000 refugees from neighbouring Somalia, South Sudan, DRC, Burundi and other countries in the region. Most of the 67,000 urban refugees in Kenya struggle to survive on handouts from UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations, and many are struggling to recover from horrifying abuse and terror endured before or during their flight.
Among the refugees in Kenya are 101,713 from South Sudan, which has now become the biggest new factor in global forced displacement after the disastrous break-up of peace efforts in July 2016 contributed to an outflow of 737,400 people by the end of the year.
The Special Envoy said: “Kenya hosts close to half a million refugees and we at UNHCR are very grateful to the people and government of Kenya for that.”
In all, Heshima Kenya’s Girls’ Empowerment Programme helps some 200 refugee girls, including those in the Safe House. They are provided with education, and training in a variety of skills to enable them to become self-reliant. Benedict, who oversees the Heshima Kenya programme, described his motivation in helping the refugees: “When I see them, I don’t see refugees, I see human beings who are suffering not out of choice but because of circumstances beyond their control.”
With the option of resettlement scarce, Heshima Kenya focuses on helping the refugees to fully integrate within the Kenyan community. This approach is also being championed by UNHCR and its partners in international talks that aim to forge a new Global Compact on Refugees next year.
“When you empower them, you bring them dignity,” Benedict said. “They don’t need to rely on anyone. The Kenyan government can also start to appreciate them – as taxpayers, employers and consumers with purchasing power.”
With #AngelinaJolie on #WorldRefugeeDay in Nairobi. So inspiring. Commended her for the great work she's doing on behalf on refugees pic.twitter.com/60chvliC4c— Nuur Mohamud Sheekh (@nuurist) June 20, 2017
Had useful discussion with #AngelinaJolie & thanked her 4 d passion 2 support refugees. Looking fwd 2 work with her pic.twitter.com/uLgJ13GBjb— Mohamed Affey (@AMB_Affey) June 20, 2017
Thanks to Pride&Joy
@BPST_EA Receptionist, Annah meeting Special Envoy to the @UNHCR Angelina Jolie. @ipstc pic.twitter.com/ttzUMNSh8s— BPST(Eastern Africa) (@BPST_EA) June 20, 2017