2d Session
S. ll

To establish the International Children with Disabilities Protection Program within the Department of State, and for other purposes.

DUCKWORTH, Mr. MERKLEY, and Mr. MURPHY) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on llllllllll

To establish the International Children with Disabilities Pro- tection Program within the Department of State, and for other purposes.

    1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-
    2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
    4 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘International Children
    5 with Disabilities Protection Act of 2022’’.
    6 SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
    7 Congress makes the following findings:
    1 (1) According to the United Nations Children’s
    2 Fund (UNICEF), there are at least 240,000,000
    3 children and youth with disabilities in the world, in-
    4 cluding    approximately    53,000,000    children    under
    5 age 5.
    6 (2) Families and children with disabilities to-
    7 gether make up nearly 2,000,000,000 people, or 25
    8 percent of the world’s population.
    9 (3) Millions of children, particularly children
    10 with intellectual and other developmental disabilities,
    11 are placed in large or small residential institutions
    12 and most of those children are left to grow up with-
    13 out the love, support, and guidance of a family. The
    14 vast majority of children placed in residential insti-
    15 tutions have at least one living parent or have ex-
    16 tended family, many of whom would keep their chil-
    17 dren at home if they had the support and legal pro-
    18 tections necessary to do so.
    19 (4) As described in the 2013 world report pub-
    20 lished by UNICEF, many parents who wish to keep
    21 their children with disabilities feel that they have no
    22 choice but to give up their child to a residential in-
    23 stitution because of prejudice and stigma against
    24 disability, the lack of support and protection that
    25 families receive, and the fact that education and
    1 community services are often inaccessible or inap-
    2 propriate for children with disabilities.
    3 (5) Extensive scientific research demonstrates
    4 that placing children in residential institutions may
    5 lead to psychological harm, increased developmental
    6 disabilities, stunted growth, rapid spread of infec-
    7 tious diseases, and high rates of mortality.
    8 (6) Leading child protection organizations have
    9 documented    that    children    and    adolescents    raised
    10 without families in residential institutions face high
    11 risk of violence, trafficking for forced labor or the
    12 sex industry, forced abortion or sterilization, and
    13 criminal detention.
    14 (7) The danger of family breakup and institu-
    15 tionalization has grown enormously as a result of the
    16 COVID–19 pandemic. According to a study pub-
    17 lished in The Lancet, as of February 2022, a min-
    18 imum of 6,900,000 children globally have lost a par-
    19 ent or co-residing caregiver to COVID–19 and are
    20 now at increased risk of placement in a residential
    21 institution.
    22 (8)    The    disability    rights    movement    in    the
    23 United States has been a world leader and an inspi-
    24 ration to the growth of a global disability rights
    25 movement. The United States has many models of
    1 practice that could be shared with countries around
    2 the world to support laws, policies, and services to
    3 promote the full inclusion of children with disabil-
    4 ities in families around the world.
    5 (9) The Advancing Protection and Care for
    6 Children in Adversity strategy of the United States
    7 Government (APCCA) and the Global Child Thrive
    8 Act of 2020 (subtitle I of title XII of division A of
    9 Public Law 116–283; 134 Stat. 3985) commit the
    10 United States Government to investing in the devel-
    11 opment, care, dignity, and safety of vulnerable chil-
    12 dren and their families around the world, including
    13 efforts to keep children with their families and re-
    14 duce placement of children in residential institutions.
    16 It is the sense of Congress that—
    17 (1) stigma and discrimination against children
    18 with disabilities, particularly intellectual and other
    19 developmental disabilities, and lack of support for
    20 community inclusion have left people with disabilities
    21 and    their    families    economically    and    socially
    22 marginalized;
    23 (2)  organizations  of  persons  with  disabilities
    24 and family members of persons with disabilities are
    25 often too small to apply for or obtain funds from do-
    1 mestic or international sources or ineligible to re-
    2 ceive funds from such sources;
    3 (3) as a result of the factors described in para-
    4 graphs (1) and (2), key stakeholders have often been
    5 left out of public policymaking on matters that af-
    6 fect children with disabilities; and
    7 (4) financial support, technical assistance, and
    8 active engagement of people with disabilities and
    9 their families is needed to ensure the development of
    10 effective policies that protect families and ensure the
    11 full inclusion in society of children with disabilities.
    13 In this Act:
    14 (1)    DEPARTMENT.—The    term    ‘‘Department’’
    15 means the Department of State.
    16 (2) FAMILY.—The term ‘‘family’’ includes mar-
    17 ried and unmarried parents, single parents, adoptive
    18 families, kinship care, extended family, and foster
    19 care.
    20 (3) Organization  of  persons  with  disabil-
    21 ITIES.—The term ‘‘organization of persons with dis-
    22 abilities’’ means a nongovernmental civil society or-
    23 ganization with staff leadership and a board of di-
    24 rectors the majority of which consists of—
    25 (A) people with disabilities;
    1 (B) individuals who were formerly placed
    2 in a residential institution; or
    3 (C) family members of children or youth
    4 with disabilities.
    5 (4)    RESIDENTIAL    INSTITUTION.—The    term
    6 ‘‘residential institution’’—
    7 (A) means a facility where children live in
    8 a collective arrangement that is not family-
    9 based and that—
    10 (i) may be public or privately man-
    11 aged and staffed;
    12 (ii) may be small or large; and
    13 (iii) may or may not be designated for
    14 children with disabilities; and
    15 (B) includes an orphanage, a children’s in-
    16 stitution, a group home, an infant home, a chil-
    17 dren’s village or cottage complex, a boarding
    18 school used primarily for care, and any other
    19 residential setting for children.
    21 It is the policy of the United States to—
    22 (1) assist countries abroad in creating rights
    23 protection programs for people with disabilities and
    24 developing policies and social supports to ensure that
    25 children with disabilities can grow up as members of
    1 families and make the transition to independent liv-
    2 ing as adults;
    3 (2) promote the development of advocacy skills
    4 and leadership abilities of people with disabilities
    5 and family members of children and youth with dis-
    6 abilities so that such individuals can effectively par-
    7 ticipate in their local, regional, and national govern-
    8 ments to promote policy reforms and programs to
    9 support full inclusion in families of children with dis-
    10 abilities;
    11 (3) promote the development of laws and poli-
    12 cies that—
    13 (A) strengthen families and protect against
    14 the unnecessary institutionalization of children
    15 with disabilities; and
    16 (B) create opportunities for youth with dis-
    17 abilities to receive the resources and support
    18 needed to achieve their full potential;
    19 (4) promote participation by different groups of
    20 people with disabilities and their families in advo-
    21 cating  for  disability  rights  and  reforms  to  legal
    22 frameworks; and
    23 (5) promote the sustainable action needed to
    24 bring about changes in law, policy, and programs to
    1 ensure full family inclusion of children with disabil-
    2 ities.
    7 Protection Program.—
    9 established    within    the    Bureau    of    Democracy,
    10 Human Rights, and Labor of the Department a
    11 grant and capacity-building program to be known as
    12 the ‘‘International Children with Disabilities Protec-
    13 tion Program’’ (in this section referred to as the
    14 ‘‘Program’’).
    15 (2) PURPOSE.—The purpose of the Program is
    16 to assist organizations of persons with disabilities
    17 and family members of children with disabilities in
    18 communicating  about  and  advocating  for  policies
    19 that ensure the family inclusion and transition to
    20 independent living of children with disabilities to ad-
    21 vance the policy described in section 5.
    22 (3) CRITERIA.—The Secretary of State, in con-
    23 sultation with leading civil society groups with exper-
    24 tise in global disability rights, shall establish criteria
    25 for—
        1 (A) applications for grants awarded under
        2 paragraph (4); and
        3 (B) the selection of—
        4 (i) the countries or regions targeted
        5 under the Program;
        6 (ii) priority activities funded through
        7 grants awarded under paragraph (4); and
        8 (iii) capacity-building needs of recipi-
        9 ents of grants awarded under paragraph
        10 (4).
        11 (4) Disability  inclusion  grants.—
        12 (A) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of State
13    may    award    grants    to    eligible    implementing
    14 partners to administer grant amounts directly
    15 or through subgrants.
    16 (B)    Eligible    implementing    part-
    17 NERS.—For purposes of this paragraph, an eli-
    18 gible    implementing    partner    is    a    nongovern-
    19 mental organization or other civil society orga-
    20 nization that—
    21 (i)    has    the    capacity    to    administer
    22 grant amounts—
    23 (I) directly; or
    24 (II) through subgrants that can
    25 be effectively used by emerging new
    1 organizations of persons with disabil-
    2 ities; and
    3 (ii) has expertise in disability rights.
    4 (C)    PRIORITY.—The    Secretary    of    State
    5 shall    prioritize    awarding    grants    under    this
    6 paragraph    to    eligible    implementing    partners
    7 with experience operating or administering sub-
    8 grants in countries for which the Assistant Sec-
    9 retary of State for Democracy, Human Rights,
    10 and Labor, in consultation with the United
    11 States Government Special Adviser and Senior
    12 Coordinator for the Administrator of the United
    13 States  Agency  for  International  Development
    14 on Children in Adversity, has determined that
    15 there are significant populations of children liv-
    16 ing in residential institutions.
    17 (D)    SUBGRANTS.—An    eligible    imple-
    18 menting partner that receives a grant under
    19 this paragraph should seek to—
    20 (i) provide not less than 50 percent of
    21 the  grant  amount  through  subgrants  to
    22 local organizations of persons with disabil-
    23 ities and other nongovernmental organiza-
    24 tions working in country to advance the
    25 policy described in section 5; and
        1 (ii) provide, of any amount distributed
        2 pursuant to clause (i)—
        3 (I) 75 percent to organizations of
        4 persons with disabilities; and
        5 (II)    25    percent    to    other    non-
        6 governmental organizations.
        7 (b) CAPACITY-BUILDING PROGRAMS.—The Secretary
        8 of State is authorized to provide funds to nongovernmental
        9 organizations with expertise in capacity building and tech-
        10 nical  assistance  to  develop  capacity-building  programs
        11 to—
        12 (1) develop disability leaders, legislators, policy-
        13 makers, and service providers to plan and implement
        14 programs to advance the policy described in section
        15 5;
        16 (2) build the advocacy capacity and knowledge
        17 of successful models of rights enforcement, family
        18 support, and disability inclusion among disability,
        19 youth, and allied civil society advocates, attorneys,
        20 and professionals to advance the policy described in
        21 section 5;
        22 (3)    create    online    programs    to    train    policy-
        23 makers, activists, and other individuals on successful
        24 models of reform, services, and rights protection to
        25 ensure that children with disabilities can live and
    1 grow up with families and become full participants
    2 in society, which—
    3 (A) are available globally;
    4 (B) offer low cost or no-cost training ac-
    5 cessible    to    persons    with    disabilities,    family
    6 members of such persons, and other individuals
    7 with potential to offer future leadership in the
    8 advancement of the goals of family inclusion
    9 and rights protection for children with disabil-
    10 ities; and
    11 (C) should be targeted to government pol-
    12 icymakers, disability activists, and other poten-
    13 tial allies and supporters among civil society
    14 groups; and
    15 (4) create study tours so activists and policy-
    16 makers from abroad can observe and better under-
    17 stand the operation of successful models of family
    18 and community inclusion and rights advocacy, in-
    19 cluding exposing such activists and policymakers to
    20 models of good practice in the United States.
    22 (1) IN GENERAL.—There are authorized to be
    23 appropriated to carry out this section amounts as
    24 follows:
25    (A) $2,000,000 for fiscal year 2024.
1    (B) $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years
2    2025 through 2029.
    3 (2)  Capacity-building  and  technical  as-
    4 SISTANCE  PROGRAMS.—Of the amounts authorized
    5 to be appropriated by paragraph (1), not less than
    6 $1,000,000 for fiscal year 2024 and not less than
    7 $3,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2025 through
    8 2029 are authorized to be available for capacity-
    9 building and technical assistance programs to sup-
    10 port disability rights leadership and to train and en-
    11 gage policymakers, professionals, and allies in civil
    12 society organizations in foreign countries.
    15 (1) IN GENERAL.—Not less frequently than an-
    16 nually through fiscal year 2029, the Secretary of
    17 State shall submit to the Committee on Health,
    18 Education, Labor, and Pensions, the Committee on
    19 Foreign Relations, and the Committee on Appropria-
    20 tions of the Senate a briefing on—
    21 (A) the programs and activities carried out
    22 to advance the policy described in section 5;
    23 and
    24 (B) any broader work of the Department
    25 in advancing that policy.
    1 (2)    ELEMENTS.—Each    briefing    required    by
    2 paragraph (1) shall include, with respect to each
    3 program carried out under section 6—
    4 (A) the rationale for the country and pro-
    5 gram selection;
    6 (B) the goals and objectives of the pro-
    7 gram, and the kinds of participants in the ac-
    8 tivities and programs supported;
    9 (C) a description of the types of technical
    10 assistance and capacity building provided; and
    11 (D) an identification of any gaps in fund-
    12 ing or support needed to ensure full participa-
    13 tion of organizations of persons with disabilities
    14 or inclusion of children with disabilities in the
    15 program.
    17 (1)    IN    GENERAL.—Not    less    frequently    than
    18 once every 3 years through fiscal year 2029, the
    19 Secretary of State shall submit to the Committee on
    20 Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, the Com-
    21 mittee on Foreign Relations, and the Committee on
    22 Appropriations of the Senate a report on the mat-
    23 ters described in subsection (a)(1).
        1 (2) ELEMENTS.—Each report required by para-
        2 graph (1) shall include the elements described in
        3 subsection (a)(2).
        4 (3) CONSULTATION.—In preparing each report
        5 required by paragraph (1), the Secretary of State
        6 shall consult with organizations of persons with dis-
        7 abilities.
        10 ITIES.
        12 PROGRAMS.—It is the sense of Congress that—
        13 (1) all programming of the Department and the
        14 United States Agency for International Development
        15 related to childcare reform, improvement of health
        16 care systems, primary and secondary education, dis-
        17 ability rights, and human rights should seek to be
        18 consistent with the policy described in section 5; and
        19 (2)    programs    of    the    Department    and    the
        20 United States Agency for International Development
        21 related to children, health care, and education—
        22 (A) should—
        23 (i)  engage  organizations  of  persons
        24 with disabilities in policymaking and pro-
        25 gram implementation; and
            1 (ii) support full inclusion of children
            2 with disabilities in families; and
            3 (B) should aim to avoid support for resi-
            4 dential institutions for children with disabilities
            5 except in situations of conflict or emergency in
            6 a manner that protects family connections as
            7 described in subsection (b).
            9 GENCIES.—It is the sense of Congress that—
            10 (1)    programs    of    the    Department    and    the
            11 United States Agency for International Development
            12 serving children in situations of conflict or emer-
            13 gency, among displaced or refugee populations, or in
            14 natural disasters should seek to ensure that children
            15 with  and  without  disabilities  can  maintain  family
            16 ties; and
            17 (2) in situations of emergency, if children are
            18 separated from parents or have no family, every ef-
            19 fort should  be  made  to  ensure  that  children  are
            20 placed with extended family, in kinship care, or in
            21 a substitute family.