Cate Blanchett urges Davos to give refugees more compassion

Australian actor Cate Blanchett has condemned the shameful way in which refugees are treated, and accused politicians of pandering to populist voices.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday, Blanchett called for renewed compassion to help the 65 million people who have been displaced worldwide, including 22 million refugees.

Blanchett told a session at WEF that the world has reached “a fork in the road”.

“I think it’s shameful. There’s so much misinformation about refugees,” she said. “They are forced to flee, and then they are vilified in the media.”

Blanchett is a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, having visited refugee camps in Jordan and the Lebanon to raise awareness. On Monday night, she received a Crystal Award from WEF for her work.

Blanchett pointed out that only 1% of the world’s displaced people have been resettled in developed countries. Developing countries are picking up the burden, with a quarter of Lebanon’s population now refugees, mainly from Syria.

Politicians, Blanchett said, must show compassion and responsibility, adding: “We try to teach our children to be compassionate, to be tolerant, to accept diversity, to share. But all the structures that are around them are not doing the same, so it’s quite a schizophrenic world they’re living in.”