Congress Prepares for May 11th Safety/Security Hearing
By Erica Burman on Monday, May 9th, 2011
The House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee has scheduled a full committee hearing this Wednesday, May 11th, to take up concerns pertaining to sexual assault and other safety and security issues confronting Peace Corps Volunteers.
The morning hearing will include testimony from several RPCVs and the mother of Kate Puzey, a Benin volunteer who was murdered during service and the subject of an investigation aired earlier this year on ABC News.
Also scheduled to testify are Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams on last year’s agency assessment and the issue of agency reform. The Peace Corps Inspector General and a representative of the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network are also scheduled to testify.
Follow this link for more details on the hearing.
**** We just received word that tomorrow’s hearing on Peace Corps at 50 “should be available on the Committee website: http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/ The link for live streaming of the hearing should be active tomorrow morning.” ****
The group First Response Action, led by RPCV survivors of sexual assault, have launched a petition drive asking Congress to support legislation to establish certain rights for those subjected to sexual or physical assault while serving as volunteers. Follow this link to read and sign the petition.
The Building Bridges Coalition, a consortium of more than 300 international volunteer organizations, corporations, universities and colleges and others working to promote the field of international volunteering–of which NPCA is a part–submitted a letter to Chairman Ros-Lehtinen and Ranking Member Berman sharing concern and applauding the ongoing effort “to advance practical solutions that will improve the structure and mechanisms so that volunteers receive the training, support and care they deserve to address the issues of physical and sexual assault.” You can read the entire letter here.
For more background on this issue, visit the NPCA’s Volunteer Safety and Security page.