WASHINGTON — There are greater than 25 million refugees worldwide, a lot of whom are pressured to hunt shelter and security in refugee camps. In these areas that ought to provide safety, many ladies and women face sexual assault as bogs and bathe amenities with poor lighting grow to be locations the place assaulters goal weak victims. In gentle of those points, the Home of Representatives handed H.R. 615, the Refugee Sanitation Facility Security Act of 2019 on Monday, Might 20.
The invoice, launched by Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY-6), will direct the Division of State, “when offering abroad help for refugees, to make sure the supply of secure and safe entry to to sanitation amenities, with a particular emphasis on ladies, women, and weak populations.”
Rep. Meng initially launched the Refugee Sanitation Facility Security Act in December of 2018, nevertheless it was not handed through the 115th Congress. Within the116th Congress, 42 representatives co-sponsored the invoice inside three months of its introduction. H.R. 615, if signed into legislation, would require the Division of State to develop and implement procedures to make sure that each worldwide and nongovernmental organizations that profit from U.S. refugee and migration monetary help present secure and safe entry to sanitation amenities. Implementation would value the U.S. lower than $500,000 from 2019 to 2024.
In a press launch on Might 22, Rep. Meng highlighted the significance of H.R.615, noting the co-ed public restrooms that oftentimes lack locks and well-lit paths. Rep. Meng acknowledged, “these circumstances create a scarcity of privateness and dignity and make ladies and women afraid to make use of the restrooms, fearing that they could be assaulted and subjected to violence whereas utilizing the lavatory… No person ought to have their security jeopardized so as [to]care for his or her most elementary hygiene wants.”
With the 42 co-sponsors and a bipartisan push from Overseas Affairs Committee Chief Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX-10) and Overseas Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel (D-NY-16), the Refugee Sanitation Facility Security Act of 2019 would take a momentous step in the direction of offering dignity to populations which have already endured political instability, warfare, violence and disaster. At present, Amnesty Worldwide USA, Futures With out Violence, Hebrew Immigrant Assist Society, Human Rights First, Jesuit Refugee Service, Refugees Worldwide and WaterAid Worldwide all endorsed the Refugee Sanitation Facility Security Act.
The Refugee Sanitation Facility Security Act of 2019 is a bipartisan effort in search of to protect dignity and respect for populations who’ve had no different choice however to flee their homelands. H.R. 615 should additionally move by the Senate earlier than it may be signed into legislation. The Senate acquired the invoice on Might 21 and referred it to the Committee on Overseas Relations.
– Keeley Griego