The Oscar-winning American actress Angelina Jolie’s enthusiasm about humanitarian right began with the tutelage of her mother at childhood and her filming trip for Tomb Raider in Cambodia in 2000 which gave her a wider glance at the plight of displaced individuals and refugees, leading to her emerging devotion for those suffer from human right issues.

After the filming of Tomb Raider in Cambodia, she contacted United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as to offer help for those in poor condition. She went for an 18-day trip to Sierra Leone and Tanzania, followed by a two-week trip back to Cambodia and a visit to refugees in Pakistan. Later, she donated one million dollars to UNHCR in response to their emergency appeal, which was the largest donation received by UNHCR from a single person.

In 2001, she was named UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and continued to raise global awareness towards refugees and war- ravaged regions. In 2012, she was appointed as Special Envoy of UNHCR for undertaking active role in publicizing global humanitarian issues. Angelina Jolie undertakes on humanitarian role at diplomatic level. She carried out over 40 field trips over the decade to different ravaged countries to highlight the urgency of refugees haunted by war and disaster, where she covered all the cost of mission and experienced the rudimentary works and living condition with refugees.

Despite all the danger she faced while visiting in different highly volatile countries, Angelina Jolie is keen on visiting conflict zone, where she visited Darfur, Chad, Iraq and Iran when these areas were going through its highly volatile situation. She has also focused on individuals who have been displaced in conflict and natural disaster, results in her visit to Thailand, Costa Rica, Syria Kenya and Haiti.

Angelina Jolie proactively involved in many charitable projects. She and her husband Brad Pitt founded Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation in 2003, named after her adopted Cambodian son. In 2005, she launched the National Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Children to provide free legal aid to young asylum-seekers. She also partnered with Microsoft to launch Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) as to provide legal advice for immigrant children in the United States in 2008 and established the Jolie Legal Fellows Program to enhance government capacity around the rule of law after her visit to the disaster- ravaged Haiti in 2010. Moreover, she has donated over US$5 million to UNHCR since 2001 and also funded various reports on human right for Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) after being its member. Record also shows that she and her husband have given out 9 million dollars since 2009. She even sold the first photos of their children to magazine and raised US$14 million for funding their Maddox Foundation.

Spending much of her life to humanitarian work in the last decade, Angelina Jolie’s engagement has been acclaimed by many prestigious international humanitarian awards such as the Citizen of the World Award, the Global Humanitarian Award and Freedom Award. As she credits her deceased mother as her philanthropic role model, she believes in the goal of living a life of use to others.

Causes supported: Humanitarian affairs, Youth & Children


Marie claire UK


The Guardian

Photo: Angelina Jolie Facebook