By Tim Saunders on
Angelina Jolie appeared at a symposium on international law and justice at the Council on Foreign Relations headquarters in New York on Friday to announce the launch of a new initiative to provide legal assistance for immigrant children.
The star has joined with Mircosoft and 25 other firms to establish Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), which aims to provide pro bono legal counsel to unaccompanied immigrant children in the United States so that they are treated fairly and compassionately in the immigration system.
“These children often have nothing; no money, no support and no family, yet they come to America seeking its promises of a better life,” she said. “But many end up becoming lost, traumatized, and ultimately forgotten. KIND provides each of them with the ability to have their legal rights protected and their voices heard.”
Currently, U.S. law provides no appointed counsel for unaccompanied children in immigration court proceedings. The new initiative will help guide them through proceedings which would normally be beyond their understanding.
Jolie also took the opportunity to urge politicians to rethink their laws regarding refugees.
“I’ve seen refugees return to live among the same people who attacked them,” she told the symposium. “They are returning to the same lawlessness that sent them running in the first place. I’ve seen aid workers tear up as they put ladies on a bus and say, ‘I don’t know what we’re sending them back to.’ No mother who had her children killed in front of her, no young girl sold into slavery, no boy kidnapped and forced to be a child soldier and no young girl like the three-year-old I met in Sierra Leone who had her limbs cut off, should be expected to simply forget.”
More information on KIND can be found at their website.
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