VISITS DETAINED REFUGEES
Copyright 2004 www.tombraiderchronicles.com
[ April 29th 2004 ]
of children separated from their asylum-seeking
parents was highlighted by American actress Angelina
Jolie this week in visits to three Arizona sites
where they are detained by the United States.
"Many of these children have survived tragedy
so being separated from their families can only
add to their suffering," said Jolie, 29, a goodwill
ambassador for the UN refugee agency UNHCR and
the star of the Lara Croft adventure films.
of thousands of people, including 5000 children,
are detained each year in the US while seeking
asylum, UN chief spokesman Fred Eckhard said on
Thursday. The UN agency opposes the detention
of asylum seekers. But in the US and other countries
where detention is allowed, it monitors the condition
of those being held, particularly children.
visited the Southwest Key facility for unaccompanied
children in Phoenix; a federal Department of Homeland
Security holding facility for more then 300 men,
and a private corrections facility that provides
beds for women under a contract with the Homeland
Security agency, UNHCR said. Among the individuals
she visited on Sunday was a 12-year-old girl being
held at Southwest Key and her mother, being detained
at the Florence facility.
were caught at the US border and sent to separate
facilities two months ago and have not seen each
other since, UNHCR said. "The girl's mother sobbed
on hearing that Jolie had visited her daughter
and was relieved to hear she was healthy and being
well looked after," the UN agency said.