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Global celebrities join campaign calling on governments to take action for refugees

UNHCR today launched a major campaign that asks the world to stand together #WithRefugees. In a stunning video message more than 60 global celebrities join with refugees and aid workers to echo the message, "we stand with refugees, please stand with us." The petition appeals for government action on behalf of the world's forcibly displaced. ​

Global celebrities join campaign calling on governments to take action for refugees

Video message released today in lead-up to World Refugee Day. Video can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/Jtv4LCXEGEU

The campaign aims to demonstrate public support for families forced to flee against a backdrop of dramatically increased displacement from conflict and persecution on the one hand, and heightened anti-refugee rhetoric and greater restrictions to asylum on the other. The petition will be delivered in advance of September’s historic UN High-Level Plenary of the General Assembly on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants.

Specifically, the petition asks all governments to make sure:

·         Every refugee child has an education.

·         Every refugee family has somewhere safe to live.

·         Every refugee can work or learn skills to make a positive contribution to their community.

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett, who appears in the video from Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, spoke about her support for the campaign:

"We are in the middle of a catastrophic displacement crisis that has already uprooted millions of innocent families, and seen too many lose their lives trying to reach safety. The ultimate solution is political – we need peace and stability. But whilst we wait for that, we – as people with a voice – can and must play our part. We must demand that all countries take a shared responsibility for ensuring refugees have protection, shelter and the chance to live a productive life. If enough of us stand together, we will be heard."​  

Fellow UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors joining Blanchett in the video include author Khaled Hosseini and supermodel and former refugee Alek Wek. Others lending support include UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and faith leaders Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Venerable V.Vajiramedhi and actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, Ben Stiller, Dame Helen Mirren as well as singers Juanes, Mika, Maher Zain and BabaaMaal.

"Refugees are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, with the same hopes and ambitions as us – except that a twist of fate has bound their lives to a global refugee crisis on an unprecedented scale," said Khaled Hosseini. “Together, in solidarity with refugees, we must demand that world leaders take collective responsibility for finding fair, lasting solutions to this crisis. Together, we must ensure humanity and compassion triumph over fear and intolerance.”

The number of people forced to flee their homes by conflict and persecution is now at its highest since the end of the Second World War. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi spoke about why UNHCR was making such a public call to support refugees.

‘’We are in a period of deepening conflict and turmoil in the world, which is causing many more people to flee their homes than before,” said Grandi. “It affects and involves us all, and what it needs is understanding, compassion and political will to come together and find real answers for the refugee plight. This has become a defining challenge of our times.

“In 2015, millions of people were newly displaced, adding again to the global refugee and internal displacement totals. Overwhelmingly, it was countries of the developing world that were most affected, but Europe too witnessed dramatic scenes, as hundreds of thousands of people crossed the Mediterranean in search of safety and refuge. Thousands died along the way.

“At the same time, there was an extraordinary outpouring of empathy and solidarity, as ordinary people and communities opened their homes and their hearts to refugees, and some countries have welcomed new arrivals even while already hosting large numbers of refugees.

“The #WithRefugees campaign and petition aims to amplify those voices of welcome and show that the world stands with refugees.”

The campaign seeks to mobilize massive audiences, creating the largest-ever petition to support refugee cause. The petition can be signed at http://rfg.ee/z2bA301bNOn.

None of the contributors to the video are available for interview.

Notes to editors

Images of UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors Cate Blanchett and Khaled Hosseini available here: http://media.unhcr.org/Share/kwun1u332tp2xd1px067gg10ttth3570.

All photos: © UNHCR/Jordi Matas

For more information on the #WithRefugees Campaign

In Geneva: Stephen Pattison. Tel: +41 (0)22 739 8275 pattison@unhcr.org

In London: Leona Everitt. Tel: +44 (0)7966 134226 everittl@unhcr.org

About the #WithRefugees Campaign

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency works for a world where every person forced to flee can be protected and build a better future. On World Refugee Day, held every year on June 20th, UNHCR commemorates the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. This year, World Refugee Day is a key moment for everyone to show their support for families forced to flee. By signing the #WithRefugees petition, people from across the globe can call on governments to work together and do their fair share for refugees.

Full list of high profile contributors to the video and petition.

CONTRIBUTOR& SIGNEES

CONTRIBUTOR TITLE

Patrick Stewart

Actor

Jung Woo-sung

Actor & UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

Douglas Booth

Actor

Cate Blanchett

Actor & UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

Benedict Cumberbatch

Actor

Maher Zain

Musician

Mika

Musician

Alek Wek

Model & UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

Alessandro Gassmann

Actor

MuzoonAlmellehan

Syrian refugee & advocate for education

Juanes

Natalia Lafourcade

Musician

Musician

David Morrissey

Actor

John Green

Writer

Rebecca Hall

Morgan Spector 

Actor

Actor

Venerable V.Vajiramedhi

Faith leader

Will Ferrell

Alan Cumming

Kristin Davis

Jillian Michaels

Actor

Actor

Actor

TV personality

Khaled Hosseini

Barbara Hendricks

BaabaMaal

FallyIpupa

Writer & UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

Classical Singer & UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

Musician

Musician

Helen Mirren

Actor

John Abraham

Actor & UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

Neil Gaiman

Amanda Palmer

Ash (baby)

Writer

Musician

Dianna Agron 

Actor

Gavin Rossdale

Musician

Ben Stiller

Actor

Bassem Youssef

Neshan Der Haroutiounian

Satirist

TV presenter

Elena Anaya

JesúsVázquez

Carlos Vives

Cecilia Suárez 

Actor

TV presenter

Musician

Musician

Chiwetel Ejiofor

Simon Pegg

Margot Robbie

Bryan Adams

Actor

Actor

Actor

Musician

RokiaTraore

Musician & UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

Scarlett Johansson

Actor

Anoushka Shankar

Georgina Chapman

Fatima Bhutto

BrunaMarquezine

Theo James

Dan Reynolds

Musician

Fashion Designer

Poet/Writer

Model/Actor

Actor

Musician (Imagine Dragons)

MelitinaStaniouta

Gymnast

Rubén Albarrán

Alberto Lati

Osvaldo Laport

Jose Moreno Brooks

Musician

Writer

Actor & UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

Actor

Katarzyna Bonda

Krystyna Czubowna

Tomasz Kammel

Writer

Journalist

TV presenter

Lang Lang

Mark Haddon

Sami Yusuf

The National Parks

Musician

Writer

Musician

Musicians

Gillian Slovo

Kamila Shamsie

Amanda Palmer

Steve Coogan

Writer

Writer

Musician

Actor

Chris Cleave

Emi Mahmoud

Emma Ferrer

Carey Mulligan

Writer

Slam Poet

Model

Actor& War Child Ambassador

Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Abbey Lee Kershaw

Stanley Tucci

Sam Taylor-Johnson

Actor

Actor/Model

Actor

Artist/Director

Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Faith leader

Not featured in the film but signees to the petition

David Nicholls

Jeremy Thomas               

Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)

Eugenio Derbez

Adrian Lester

Richard Curtis

Mark Rylance

 

 

Writer

Film producer

Musican

Actor

Actor

Producer/Director

Actor

 

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