Angelina Jolie: Pays visit to Italian refugees
Friday 24, June 2011
Superstar Angelina Jolie has visited the Italian island of Lampedusa to thank residents for providing a safe haven for Libyan and Tunisian refugees.
The goodwill ambassador for the UN High Commission for Refugees travelled to the region over the weekend in recognition of World Refugee Day.
Since violence broke in both Libya and Tunisia in recent months, an estimated 20,000 refugees have arrived on Lampedusa.
On Sunday, Jolie appeared at a ceremony held in commemoration of all those who have died at sea while on their journey for freedom, telling those in attendance: "It is very hard to imagine looking out at this beautiful sea how many people have risked their lives and how many people have risked their children's lives and so many of them have lost their lives at sea."
While on trip to Lampedusa, Jolie also met with refugees and personally expressed her gratitude to residents for accommodating so many political asylum seekers on their small island.
The actress travelled to Turkey last week to tour refugee camps constructed to house Syrians who have fled their country since violence erupted between pro and anti-government factions.
The 'Kung Fu Panda 2' star has served as a public spokesperson for the UN High Commission for Refugees since 2001 and has represented the organisation on fact-finding missions in Pakistan and Syria.