Actress Angelina Jolie equips children with tools to ‘fight back’ in her new book

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Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie says she hopes to empower children around the world with tools to “fight back” for their rights with a book she has written with Amnesty International.

“Know Your Rights and Claim Them” – written with human rights lawyer Geraldine Van Bueren, one of the original drafters of the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – aims to equip kids with the knowledge to safely challenge injustices.

“So many children are in harm’s way across the world and we’re simply not doing enough,” Jolie told Reuters in an interview. “These are their rights, decided years ago based on what would make them healthy, balanced, safe and stable adults.”

Jolie, special envoy for UN refugee agency UNHCR, said she hoped the book would also remind governments of their commitment to the global treaty enshrining children’s civil, social, political and economic rights.

“We spent a lot of time blocking those rights, so this book is to help the kids have a tool book to say ‘these are your rights, these are things you need to question to see how far you, depending on your country and circumstance, are from accessing those rights, what are your obstacles, others that came before you and fought, ways you can fight’. So it’s a handbook to fight back.”

The mother-of-six said she put up the U.N convention in her home for her children, but was surprised to learn her own country, the United States, has not ratified it.

“That infuriated me and made me start to question what does that mean? So for each country, what is this idea of, you have the right to an education … but then why is it so many children are out of school? Why is it the girls in Afghanistan are being harmed if they go?” she said.

REUTERS