Angelina Jolie thanks UK for support in tackling sexual violence in war zones

Angelina Jolie has spoken about sexual violence in her role as UN envoy. Credit: Yui Mok/PA

American actress Angelina Jolie has spoken out against sexual violence in global war zones during a Government film event in London.

Held at the British Film Institute, 38 movies and documentaries are being shown as part of a festival enabling survivors to tell their stories.

The United Nations envoy spoke at the event, which aims to tackle rape and sexual violence in conflict zones.

Jolie welcomed the work of the festival, which was attended Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

She said: “I want to thank the British Government for hosting this festival and for recognising the power of storytelling as a tool to enhance empathy and understanding.

“I welcome what it says, that the Foreign Office is supporting art and artists, putting the issue of sexual violence in conflict forward as an urgent international issue, allowing the voices of that set the agenda to be those of the survivors themselves.”

Art highlighting the horrors of sexual violence in conflicts across the world was displayed in addition to the screenings.

The event included the unveiling of a code to set the standard for evidence-gathering for investigating sexual violence in war zones and was backed by Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, who is the UK Government’s special representative on such violence.

Hunt tweeted about the event, writing: “With @Refugees envoy Angelina Jolie at #PSVI film festival to discuss new Murad Code, named after Nobel Peace Prize laureate @NadiaMuradBasee.

“Code will set standard for gathering evidence of sexual violence in conflicts. There must be justice for survivors!”

The code is named after Nadia Murad, a Yazidi human rights activist who was kidnapped at the hands of Islamic State.