Hindus are urging Hollywood megastar Angelina Jolie, who is Goodwill Ambassador of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), to do something concrete to improve the plight of about 15-million stateless people worldwide who suffer rejection day after day.
UNHCR “has a mandate to help stateless people”.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Jolie should come out of her comfort zone and urgently highlight the maltreatment of stateless populations around the world which were needed to be protected from severe and continuous violation of their human rights. If she wanted his services in regard to stateless cause, which was a social blight for the world, he was willing to support her.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that Jolie, world’s most powerful celebrity, would be very effective in focusing public opinion world over on the plight of stateless. Many Hollywood and other entertainment bigwigs had successfully worked against South Africa’s apartheid in the past.
Rajan Zed noted that access of stateless to health services, employment, education, property ownership and travel was severely restricted and they faced detention and inability to obtain identity papers. They were denied the most basic of rights and were vulnerable to trafficking.
Zed stated that exclusionary policies, gender-discriminatory legislations, etc., which were at the root of many statelessness situations, should end. Something needed to be emergently done for stateless Roma in Europe, Myanmar Rohingyas, Kenya Nubians, ethnic Russians in Latvia and Estonia, Syrian Kurds, Kuwait Bedoun, children in Sabah (Malaysia), Dominicans of Haitian descent, Ivory Coast immigrants, unconfirmed nationals in Nepal, and ethnic hill tribes of Thailand.
Rajan Zed stressed that he was hopeful that Jolie would not stay apathetic and silent spectator when fellow stateless brothers/sisters were reportedly facing blatant injustice and discrimination in the world. It was a worthwhile cause for her to undertake and she needed to put more and serious efforts to highlight and improve the plight of this most invisible population of the world, Zed added.
UNHCR, launched in 1950 and headquartered in Geneva (Switzerland), says “statelessness refers to the condition of an individual who is not considered as a national by any state”. Countries with most stateless populations include Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Syria, Iraq, Estonia and Kenya.
Ultra famous-talented-rich-beautiful 36-year old Oscar winner Angelina Jolie (Changeling) is known for her refugee projects, conservation work and philanthropy. She has received Citizen of the World Award, Global Humanitarian Award, Freedom Award, etc.