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Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie Leaves Role at UNHCR to Pursue Wider Range of Humanitarian Work

After more than 20 years of uplifting the voices of refugees and displaced people around the world, Angelina Jolie has announced she’s moving on from her role as UNHCR Special Envoy.

“I am grateful for the privilege and opportunity I have had to work with so many outstanding and dedicated UNHCR field officers and other colleagues doing lifesaving work globally and to serve as Special Envoy,” she shares in a statement.

“I will continue to do everything in my power in the years to come to support refugees and other displaced people. After 20 years working within the UN system, I feel it is time for me to work differently, engaging directly with refugees and local organisations and supporting their advocacy solutions.”

Angelina has worked with the UNHCR since 2001. She was appointed to the role of Special Envoy in 2012 where she has consistently used her platform to raise awareness about the issues impacting refugees including lack of basic necessities such as shelter, health care and sanitation.

Over the past 21 years, she has accompanied the humanitarian organisation on more than 60 field missions, most recently stopping in Yemen and Burkina Faso – described by the UNHCR as “the most underfunded and underreported emergencies in the world” – to meet with families displaced due to war and give their stories the global attention they so desperately need.

“Angelina Jolie has been an important humanitarian partner of UNHCR for very long. We are grateful for her decades of service, her commitment and the difference she has made fore refugees and people forced to flee,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi says.

“After a long and successful time with UNHCR, I appreciate her desire to shift her engagement and support her decision. I know the refugee cause will remain close to her heart and I am certain she will bring the same passion and attention to a wider humanitarian portfolio.”

And he’s right. Angelina has already been using her voice to champion a number of causes this year in addition to supporting refugees – they include speaking out against violence against women, calling for equality for the women of Afghanistan and advocating for girls’ education and empowerment around the world.

She’s also released a brilliant book, Know Your Rights and Claim Them: A Guide For Youth, in collaboration with Amnesty International to help kids speak out about injustice. It’s aimed at children 11+ and covers topics about their rights and the activists who are creating change:

(Feature Image Credit: Denis Makarenko/Shutterstock)

Nehal is an award-winning news presenter and the founder of positive celebrity news site CelebrityKind. (She's also a mummy-of-3, chocoholic and Opraholic!)

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