Angelina Jolie backs British campaign against rape in war zones

Angelina Jolie: 26th cousin. Shared ancestor: Philip II of France. Dan Kitwood

Angelina Jolie speaks ahead of a screening of her film "In the Land of Blood and Honey" at the Foreign Commonwealth Office on May 29, 2012, in London.
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(CBS News) Angelina Jolie has given her support to an initiative by the British government aimed at attacking sexual violence in war zones around the world.

The Oscar-winning actress, who is also a special envoy for the United Nations refugee agency, attended a launch for the initiative at the Foreign Office in London on Tuesday.

There, she spoke before a screening of her directorial debut, "In the Land of Blood and Honey," a love story set during the Bosnian War. (Watch the video below.)

Pictures: Angelina Jolie

"Throughout history, rape and sexual violence have been used as weapons of war, and in modern warfare as, women and girls have become primary targets, the problem has grown tremendously," she said. "The wars in Rwanda and Bosnia brought the issue to the world stage, and afterwards the international community took significant steps to end impunity for the worst atrocities and to combat sexual violence in conflict, but although progress has been made, there is so much that needs to be done"

According to the Guardian, U.K. lawyers, human rights campaigners, psychologists, forensic experts and doctors will gather evidence about sexual violence in war zones in support of UN teams and local charities. The initiative is expected to be in place by the end of the year.

Last month, Jolie was named an honorary citizen of Bosnia's capital, Sarajevo. Officials said in a statement that the city was grateful to Jolie for preserving the "truth about the war" in Bosnia through "In the Land of Blood and Honey."

  • Jessica Derschowitz

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