Foreign Affairs Advances Bill to Promote Democracy, Human Rights in BurmaPress Release
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), passed seven bipartisan measures, including the BURMA Act of 2018 (H.R. 5819), which promotes democracy and human rights in Burma.
On H.R. 5819, as amended, which promotes democracy and human rights in Burma, Chairman Royce said: “For over three decades, Burma has systematically denied the Rohingya even the most basic human rights. Last year, this ethnic cleansing reached new, horrific levels. The Burmese military drove 700,000 Rohingya from their homes, burning villages, raping women and killing thousands. A Burmese commander told fleeing Rohingya, ‘We’ll turn your village into soil.’ Tragically, they did. I thank the Ranking Member for introducing this important legislation aimed at stopping these horrific acts.”
On H.R. 2259, as amended, which expands services and benefits for Peace Corps volunteers, Chairman Royce said: “This bill would ensure that Peace Corps volunteers have some say in where they are placed, are more aware of risks in the field and have better access to qualified medical personnel. It also extends and enhances expiring provisions in the Kate Puzey Act to provide services to victims of sexual assault. Our young men and women who volunteer with the Peace Corps deserve to have the information and support they need as they represent our country overseas. This bill does that.”
On H.R. 3030, as amended, which helps prevent acts of genocide and other atrocities, Chairman Royce said: “The U.S. must be a world leader in efforts to prevent genocide and crimes against humanity. This act improves inter-agency coordination, bolsters training for our diplomats in the field and strengthens Congressional oversight to make programs aimed at preventing global atrocities more effective.”
Additionally, the committee passed the following measures:
- As amended, H.R. 1911, Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2017, introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), which elevates the official in charge of the State Department office responsible for monitoring and combating anti-Semitism globally;
- H.R. 4989, Protecting Diplomats from Surveillance Through Consumer Devices Act, introduced by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), which requires the Department of State to establish a policy regarding the use of location-tracking devices at diplomatic and consular facilities;
- As amended, H.R. 5626, Intercountry Adoption Information Act of 2018, introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), which amends the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 to require the Secretary of State to report on countries that have significantly reduced adoptions to the United States; and
- As amended, H.R. 5754, Cambodia Democracy Act, introduced by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), which promotes free and fair elections, political freedoms and human rights in Cambodia.
A summary of the committee action, including adopted amendments, will be available HERE.