United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie (C) waves as she leaves from a Syrian refugee camp in the southern Turkish town of Altinozu in Hatay province June 17, 2011. (REUTERS/Umit Bektas)
Oscar-winning actress and UN goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie traveled to Malta to listen to asylum seekers from Libya, Somalia, Ethiopia and sub-Saharan Africa, who were awaiting the processing of their claims. Speaking with Jolie, they recounted the difficulties they faced before reaching the refugee centers in Malta (where Angelina will be based while her husband Brad Pitt shoots his new movie, World War Z).
With thousands of people fleeing the unrest in North Africa, scores of refuges have been pulled from the waters around Malta. Some women described the horrors of losing babies during the violence and miscarriages at sea.
To celebrate World Refugee Day on June 20, Jolie then traveled to the Italian island of Lampedusa with the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees. There, she was shown how refugees are processed by staff on the island. Later, she participated in a ceremony at Lampedusa's memorial for migrants lost at sea to commemorate the June 20 event dedicated to raising awareness about the situation of refugees around the world.
You cannot imagine what you represented to all those people this year who were looking desperately for help, Jolie said to the crowd.
After nearly one million people fled violence in Lybia and Tunisia, the A-lister set out to tour the temporary camps and open centers where many victims are being detained.
As goodwill ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Jolie began her trip in the Turkish province of Hatay on Friday afternoon. Turkish authorities hung a 15 meter (16 yard) banner near the entrance of a camp to welcome her which read: Goodness Angel of the World, Welcome
Jolie was accompanied by a massive convoy of vehicles and crowds gathered on the balconies of nearby homes to catch a glimpse of the actress who is known for her humanitarian work across the globe. There she met with some of the more than 9,600 refugees who have fled a bloody crackdown on Syrian anti-government protesters.
Here's video footage of Jolie's trip in Malta and Southern Italy:
Here's Jolie's Give Refugees a Hand PSA for World Refugee Day:
Mark Johanson is the travel editor at the International Business Times. He has traveled to and written about more than 30 nations and territories on every continent except...