Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) cosponsored legislation to increase protections for women and children in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Introduced by Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the Central American Women and Children Protection Act of 2019 authorizes funding for the Department of State to provide assistance and address the root causes of the humanitarian crisis in Central America.
“Thousands of Central American families face pervasive violence in their communities and are fleeing their homes to protect themselves. Women and children are facing serious threats to their safety and wellbeing, and they’re coming to the United States for a better life free from insecurity, violence and sexual assault. I’m proud to support legislation that addresses the root causes of the growing humanitarian crises, stems mass migration and protects vulnerable families.”
In addition to Senators Cortez Masto and Rubio, U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.), Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.) and Robert Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.) also cosponsored this legislation.
This 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 bill aims to 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.
Full text of the bill is available here.