UN envoy Angelina Jolie describes what constitutes ‘war crimes’ amid international conflict

Angelina Jolie

European Parliament/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Angelina Jolie continues to speak out on the rights of civilians in wartime as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues and claims increasing civilian casualties in places like Bucha and Mariupol. She has also been very vocal about the ongoing Yemeni civil war.

The humanitarian and special envoy to the United Nations, 46, posted a series of excerpts from the Geneva Conventions on her Instagram on Friday, highlighting language focused on civilian populations caught in the midst of war.

The Geneva Conventions, concluded in 1949, are a series of international treaties and agreements setting standards for the humanitarian treatment in wartime of the sick and wounded, as well as civilians and non-combatants.

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In the caption to her post, Jolie identified the Conventions as “an attempt to limit the damage caused by war and reduce suffering.”

She also included a basic summary of the rules of war under the Conventions, writing: “Civilians can never be targeted” and “doctors and aid workers must be protected”. “Things that civilians need to survive – like food and water – must not be withheld or destroyed,” Jolie’s post noted.

The Oscar-winning actor also clarified that “rape and other forms of sexual violence are expressly prohibited”. “Breaking these rules is a war crime,” concluded Angelina Jolie.

As a special envoy to the UN, Jolie serves with the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees and has brought attention to humanitarian crises around the world, including in Myanmar and Yemen.

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She also directly addressed the atrocities taking place in Ukraine, focusing specifically on how children will “pay the highest price”.

Last month the Maleficent The star posted a series of captivating photos to her Instagram amid the ongoing war. The image carousel began with a photo of a man and woman holding children as they waited to cross a river after escaping Irpin, Ukraine.

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The second photo showed a teenager lying in a hospital bed with his mother nearby as he was treated for his injuries following a Russian attack. The third image showed a young cancer patient hugging a man in the basement of a treatment center that serves as a bomb shelter.

“In addition to the millions of people who have fled Ukraine’s borders, nearly 2 million people are internally displaced, many of whom are trapped by fighting, denied access to help and are in direct physical danger,” Jolie captioned. “Without an end to war, children will pay the highest price – in trauma, lost childhoods and shattered lives.”

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She ended with a note for her followers to “learn more” about the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees by sharing the official Instagram page.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues after their forces launched a full-scale invasion on February 24 – Europe’s first major ground conflict in decades. Details of the devastation are changing daily, but hundreds of civilians have already been reported dead or injured, including children. Millions of Ukrainians have also fled, according to the United Nations.

The Russian attack on Ukraine is an evolving story, with information changing rapidly. To follow Full coverage of the war by PEOPLE hereincluding testimonials from citizens on the ground and ways to help.