2011.09.27: September 27, 2011: Senate Passes 'Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011'

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By Admin1 (admin) (70.254.224.177) on Friday, September 30, 2011 - 9:37 am: Edit Post

Senate Passes 'Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011'

Senate Passes 'Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011'

The legislation provides whistleblower protection for Peace Corps volunteers, a safeguard that is currently in place for federal employees but not for Peace Corps volunteers. This type of protection would have given Kate more protection when she reported her allegations. In addition, it requires the Peace Corps to develop sexual assault risk-reduction and response training and protocol in consultation with experts that complies with best practices in the sexual assault field. The training also is to be tailored to the specific countries in which volunteers serve.

Senate Passes 'Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011'

Isakson, Boxer Praise Unanimous Senate Passage of 'Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011'

Legislation Named After Georgia Peace Corps Volunteer Murdered in Africa

Caption: Senator Johnny Isakson holds a photo of slain Peace Corps Volunteer Kate Puzey.

WASHINGTON U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., today praised the unanimous passage in the Senate of the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011. The legislation, which is named for a Georgia Peace Corps volunteer who was murdered in 2009 while serving in Africa, would provide better security and protection measures for Peace Corps volunteers.

Isakson serves as the ranking member on the Subcommittee on African Affairs, and Boxer serves on the Subcommittee on the Peace Corps in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Isakson and Boxer introduced the legislation, S.1280, in July. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, introduced a House version of the bill, H.R.2337, which passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee and now awaits action by the full House.

The legislation is named in honor of Kate Puzey, a 24-year-old Peace Corps volunteer from Cumming, Ga., who was murdered in 2009 in the West African village of Badjoude, Benin, soon after she had reported a colleague for allegedly molesting some of the young girls they taught.

"Kate Puzey was an extraordinary young woman who lived her life in service to others and strived to make a difference in parts of the world that are desperate for hope. She is an inspiration to me and many others. To that end, I am incredibly pleased that this piece of legislation, named in Kate's honor, has passed in the Senate unanimously," said Isakson. "It is my hope that this bill soon becomes law because it will provide Peace Corps volunteers, who have the same passion for service to others as Kate did, increased safety and protections so they can carry out their mission."

Isakson first became involved in the Kate Puzey case in 2009 when he read about her murder in a Georgia newspaper and subsequently attended her funeral. Since then, Isakson has worked with the Puzey family to seek justice for Kate and to pass legislation to provide better protection for Peace Corps volunteers.

In June, Isakson traveled to Africa where he met with President Boni Yayi of Benin to seek justice in the Puzey case. In their 2.5-hour meeting, Isakson urged President Yayi to allow the FBI to assist in the murder investigation, and he hand delivered a letter from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterating the importance the United States places on the Puzey case. Isakson met again with President Yayi in July in Washington.

Senator Boxer said, "I am so proud to have joined Senator Isakson in sponsoring this important legislation to ensure that we have an effective system in place to protect our Peace Corps volunteers serving overseas."

The legislation provides whistleblower protection for Peace Corps volunteers, a safeguard that is currently in place for federal employees but not for Peace Corps volunteers. This type of protection would have given Kate more protection when she reported her allegations.

In addition, it requires the Peace Corps to develop sexual assault risk-reduction and response training and protocol in consultation with experts that complies with best practices in the sexual assault field. The training also is to be tailored to the specific countries in which volunteers serve.




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Headlines: September, 2011; Congress; Legislation; Sexual Assault and Harassment; Crime; Murder





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Story Source: Senator Isakson

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Congress; Legislation; SA; Crime; Murder

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