Angelina Jolie joins forces with NATO to tackle crimes against women in war zones

PHOTO: Special Envoy for the High Commissioner for Refugees Angelina Jolie visits NATO and holds a joint press conference with Secretary-General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg, Brussels, Jan. 31, 2018.PlayIsopix/REX/Shutterstock
WATCH Angelina Jolie joins forces with NATO to tackle crimes against women in war zones

UNHCR Special Envoy and Hollywood star Angelina Jolie is in Brussels meeting with NATO leadership as part of a joint effort to address sexual violence in areas of conflict.

PHOTO: Special envoy Angelina Jolie accompanied on the trip by daughters Shiloh, and Zahara, speak with a young Syrian refugee boy outside his home, Jan. 28, 2018, in Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan. Ivor Prickett/UNHCR via Getty Images
Special envoy Angelina Jolie accompanied on the trip by daughters Shiloh, and Zahara, speak with a young Syrian refugee boy outside his home, Jan. 28, 2018, in Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan.

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Jolie, who arrived in Belgium after visiting the massive Jordanian refugee camp of Zaatari, is pushing to “create greater accountability and deterrence against crimes against women in conflict zones around the world.”

PHOTO: Angelina Jolie and UN High Commission for Refugees staff visit the Zaatari refugee camp near the Jordanian border with Syria, Sept. 11, 2012. Khalil Mazraawi/AFP/Getty Images
Angelina Jolie and UN High Commission for Refugees staff visit the Zaatari refugee camp near the Jordanian border with Syria, Sept. 11, 2012.

Speaking to reporters, she said that the international community was not doing enough to address the sexual attacks in war zones and the increasing prevalence of rape as a weapon of war.

PHOTO: Special Envoy for the High Commissioner for Refugees Angelina Jolie visits NATO and holds a joint press conference with Secretary-General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg, Brussels, Jan. 31, 2018. Isopix/REX/Shutterstock
Special Envoy for the High Commissioner for Refugees Angelina Jolie visits NATO and holds a joint press conference with Secretary-General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg, Brussels, Jan. 31, 2018.

She said that systematic sexual violence in conflict “has been increasingly regarded as an inevitable feature of conflict, and as a lesser crime or a problem too difficult or too uncomfortable for societies to address.”

Jolie also held meetings with the North Atlantic Council and Military Committee and will conduct further talks with NATO political representatives and commanders.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said his organization has the “responsibility to be a leading protector of women's rights” and described crimes against women in conflict zones as a method of “political control, terrorism and ethnic cleansing.”

PHOTO: UNHCR Special Envoy, Angelina Jolie continued her regional tour visiting Iraq, Sep. 16, 2012. UNHCR/JTanner via ABACA PRESS.COM via Newscom
UNHCR Special Envoy, Angelina Jolie continued her regional tour visiting Iraq, Sep. 16, 2012.

Stoltenberg said the alliance was working to address rape in war zones, such as increasing the number of women serving in the military and improving the process of reporting sexual violence.

Last November Jolie condemned widespread sexual violence inflicted on Rohingya women in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

Her remarks followed a report by Human Rights Watch that alleged systematic rape against women and girls was a widespread feature of the Myanmar military’s campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Muslim minority.

She said that the international community should “hang our heads in how little we have done” to protect vulnerable Rohingya refugees.

PHOTO: UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie speaks with Syrian refugees in a Jordanian military camp based near the Syria/Jordan border, June 18, 2013. O.Laban-Mattei/UNHCR/Sipa USA via Newscom
UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie speaks with Syrian refugees in a Jordanian military camp based near the Syria/Jordan border, June 18, 2013.