June 11, 2019

Kaine Jones Rubio, Menendez To Introduce Legislation In Support of Central American Women and Children

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) today introduced the Central American Women and Children Protection Act of 2019 to address the protection and safety of women and children in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. The bipartisan legislation seeks to decrease and deter violence against women and children in the Northern Triangle and increase safe access by female and child survivors of violence to adequate, appropriate, and coordinated support services.  The Rubio/Menendez bill will also enhance the performance, will and capacity of justice system officials in Central America, including police, prosecutors, and courtroom personnel to provide a coordinated, multi-disciplinary, victim-centric response to crimes of violence against women and children.
 
Rubio is the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues.
 
Co-sponsors include Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Todd Young (R-IN), and Tim Kaine (D-VA). Representatives Norma J. Torres (D-CA) and Ann Wagner (R-MO), the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Central America Caucus, introduced companion legislation in the House.
 
“As Chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation which will provide resources by creating compacts with clear objectives to protect women and children survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in the Northern Triangle,” Rubio said.  “By strengthening the criminal justice systems, and family courts in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, the U.S. is providing protection and empowering families who are victims of violence in Central America.”  
 
“We cannot close our eyes or our borders to the women and children fleeing for their lives from the alarming violence in the Northern Triangle. The United States has a clear interest and responsibility to protect the most vulnerable as their lives are endangered and ensure that fewer families are destroyed, separated, or forced to flee,” said Senator Menendez. “Through short and long term strategies to improve governance and the rule of law, this bipartisan legislation will further strengthen criminal justice systems, family courts, schools, and communities in the Northern Triangle. Developing a comprehensive approach to combating the highest female and child homicide rates in the world will lay a strong foundation for the social and economic development of Central America so that those in violence torn communities can have a more prosperous future.”
 
“Our crisis on the southern border is often a result of corruption and insecurity in other countries. Protecting the safety and security of women and children in the Northern Triangle and strengthening the justice system in this region is both a moral and a security imperative. I am proud of this bipartisan effort that will bring greater stability to the region,” said Senator Young.

“We cannot sit idly by as women and children in the Northern Triangle face horrific violence that’s forcing them to flee for their lives. This bill is about helping the most vulnerable communities by boosting the capacity of the justice systems in these countries and increasing access to support services,” Kaine said.