Week ending October 6, 2017
H.R.2408 – Protecting Girls’ Access to Education Act
This bill urges the consideration of the educational needs of vulnerable women and girls in designing, implementing, and evaluating U.S. foreign assistance policies and programs.
To those ends:
The Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) may advance programs that:
provide safe, primary and secondary education for displaced children;
build the capacity of institutions in countries hosting displaced people to prevent displaced children from facing educational discrimination; and
help increase the access of displaced children, especially girls, to educational, economic, and entrepreneurial opportunities.
The State Department and USAID may:
coordinate with multilateral organizations to work with foreign governments to collect relevant data, disaggregated by age and gender, on the ability of displaced people to access education and participate in economic activity; and
work with domestic and foreign private sector and civil society organizations to promote safe, primary and secondary education for displaced children.
Based on information from the department and USAID, CBO concludes that many of the bill’s requirements are being satisfied under current law.
(Full text of H.R. 2408 congress.gov)
Sponsor: Rep. Chabot, Steve [R-OH-1] (Introduced 05/11/2017)
VOTES and FLOOR ACTION
Motion to recommit:
Text of the motion:
COST AND IMPACT
Cost to the taxpayers: CBO estimates that any additional efforts related to reporting requirements as well as data collection and analysis would, in total, cost less than $500,000 over the 2018-2022 period; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
Pay-as-you-go requirements: Enacting H.R. 2408 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
Regulatory and Other Impact: Data not available
Dynamic Scoring: CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 2408 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
Tax Complexity: Not applicable to this bill.
Earmark Certification: Data not available
Duplication of programs: Data not available
Direct Rule-Making: Data not available
Advisory Committee Statement: Data not available
Budget Authority: Data not available
Constitutional Authority: Assumed.
Congress finds the following:
(1) At the start of 2017, more than 65,000,000 people have been displaced by disasters and conflicts around the world, the highest number recorded since the end of World War II, of which more than 21,000,000 people are refugees.
(2) More than half of the population of displaced people are children and, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, nearly 4,000,000 school-aged displaced children lack access to primary education.
(3) Education offers socioeconomic opportunities, psychological stability, and physical protection for displaced people, particularly for women and girls, who might otherwise be vulnerable to severe forms of trafficking in persons (as such term is defined in section 103(9) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7103(9))), child marriage, sexual exploitation, or economic disenfranchisement, and contributes to long-term recovery and economic opportunities for displaced people and for the communities hosting them.
(4) Displaced children face considerable barriers to accessing educational services and, because the duration of such displacement is, on average, 20 years, such children may spend the entirety of their childhood without access to such services.
(5) Despite the rising need for such services, less than two percent of global emergency aid was directed toward educational services in 2016.
SEC. 3. Sense of Congress.
It is the sense of Congress that—
(1) it is critical to ensure that children, particularly girls, displaced by conflicts overseas are able to access educational services because such access can combat extremism and reduce exploitation and poverty; and
(2) the educational needs of vulnerable women and girls should be considered in the design, implementation, and evaluation of related United States foreign assistance policies and programs.
SEC. 4. Statement of policy.
It is the policy of the United States to—
(1) partner with and encourage other countries, public and private multilateral institutions, and nongovernmental and civil society organizations, including faith-based organizations and organizations representing parents and children, to support efforts to ensure that displaced children have access to safe primary and secondary education;
(2) work with donors to enhance training and capacity-building for the governments of countries hosting significant numbers of displaced people to design, implement, and monitor programs to effectively address barriers to such education;
(3) incorporate into the design and implementation of such programs measures to evaluate the impact of the programs on girls, with respect to the reduction of child marriage, gender-based violence, and severe forms of trafficking in persons (as such term is defined in section 103(9) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7103(9))); and
(4) coordinate with the governments of countries hosting significant numbers of displaced people to—
(A) promote the inclusion of displaced children into the educational systems of such countries; and
(B) develop innovative approaches to providing safe primary and secondary educational opportunities in circumstances in which such inclusion is not possible or appropriate, such as schools that permit more children to be educated by extending the hours of schooling and expanding the number of teachers.
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