Wagner, Torres Bipartisan Bill to Protect Women and Children from Violence in the Northern Triangle Passes House Foreign Affairs Committee
Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Representatives Norma J. Torres (D-CA) and Ann Wagner (R-MO), the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Central America Caucus, announced that their bipartisan Central American Women and Children Protection Act of 2019 was passed by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The bill would protect women and children in the Northern Triangle from domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse and neglect, and to hold perpetrators accountable. The Central American Women and Children Protection Act would authorize the U.S. State Department to enter into bilateral agreements, known as Women and Children Protection Compacts, with the Governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
“Northern Triangle governments allow impunity for perpetrators of violence, with less than 10 percent of reported cases resulting in conviction,” said Wagner. “I was pleased to work with my colleague Representative Torres to ensure our legislation combating this violence against women and children in Central America was included as an amendment to the United States-Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act. Our amendment would authorize the President to enter into bilateral compacts with the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to strengthen the justice systems of those countries and create safer communities for women and children.”
“We cannot wait for another child to die at our border. We must act now to address the root causes of migration in Central America,” said Torres. “I applaud the Foreign Affairs Committee for advancing this important legislation to protect women and children from violence, and I look forward to working to pass this bill into law.”
The Central American Women and Children Protection Act was introduced by Torres and Wagner last week, and was included in modified form as an amendment to H.R. 2615, the United States-Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act.