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Ewan McGregor visits refugees in Iraq

Published 02/08/2016

Ewan McGregor
Ewan McGregor

Ewan McGregor paid a visit to a refugee camp in Iraq as part of his work with UNICEF.

Actor Ewan McGregor has "never felt more confused and upset" by what he saw during his recent visit to a refugee camp in Iraq.

The Trainspotting star travelled to the Debaga camp in northern Iraq last week (ends31Jul16) to meet children and families displaced by conflicts in the country and nearby Syria and he grew emotional as he recalled to ITV News what he saw.

Ewan, a U.K. ambassador for United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), called the experience "mind-bending" and admitted he had "never felt more confused and upset" meeting families who had lost their homes and possessions, but were still positive because they had each other.

"That really hit me," he said. "I don't know many Westerners who could imagine being in that situation... That was a really shocking thing to hear."

He also blasted British politicians for using refugees as a campaign tool in the recent European Union (EU) Referendum in which the U.K. public voted to Leave the EU in June (16).

Ewan insisted most families try to come to Britain "because there's no other choice" but most children he spoke to in the camps were hopeful they will return home one day.

"Refugees have been used for their political gain. I'd like to play against that," said the actor, who also implored the U.K. public and government to welcome them.

The Scottish star, who played sports with the kids and helped deliver supplies, posted a picture of the tents on Instagram and revealed he had witnessed a dead body, covered by a blanket, being driven away on a pickup truck as he filmed a video for UNICEF.

"For this soul the fight was over," he wrote. "In this horrible time of chaos and uncertainty please remember that refugees are human beings who have had to flee from horrendous violence, people who have lost everything. Let's make sure we treat them fairly."

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