Art And Culture

Jolie Visits Myanmar, Meets Rohingyas

Jolie Visits Myanmar, Meets RohingyasJolie Visits Myanmar, Meets Rohingyas

Angelina Jolie visited a Burmese factory on Saturday and met female workers in the hope of learning more about their difficult living conditions.

The Hollywood actress, a special envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, was on the last day of a four-day visit to the south-east Asian nation. The Oscar-winning star toured the factory and spoke to a number of the women who work there.

She joined Myanmar’s opposition leader and democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi - known as The Lady of Burma - for the visit, to witness first-hand the ‘squalid and dire’ conditions the employees live in, reports AP.

Most of the women, whom they met on the outskirts of an industrialized zone in Myanmar’s largest city Yangon, live in cheap hostels and are vulnerable to sexual violence, trafficking and other human rights violations.

Earlier on Thursday (July 30), the actress travelled to Kachin state, on her first visit to Myanmar.

Kachin state is home to more than 10,000 displaced people since a ceasefire between Myanmar’s government and ethnic rebels broke down in 2011.

Jolie met with representatives of the minority Rohingya Muslim community. It was unlikely she would travel to western Rakhine state, where more than 100,000 of the Rohingya people live in apartheid-like conditions in camps.

A visit to the area had been planned, but downpours from Cyclone Komen have closed the region’s airports and left large parts inaccessible.

World attention has recently turned to the plight of stateless Rohingya Muslims, who have been trafficked from Myanmar and Bangladesh on board overcrowded boats.

The UN has said that about half of the Southeast Asian migrants from recent months are Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar.

 “It was moving and humbling to meet survivors of sexual violence in Kachin,” the actress said.

Jolie’s visit came after an invitation from Suu Kyi.