WASHINGTON, DC ñToday, Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) joined President Obama in the Oval Office as he signed the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011 into law.
ìToday is a historic day for the Peace Corps, ì said Poe. ìThis bipartisan legislation will implement necessary reforms in the Peace Corps to make it an even better institution for the young ambassadors of America to serve. This law is a tribute to Kate Puzey and the other past victims of violence in the Peace Corps. Their suffering has resulted in positive change to protect Americaís Angels Abroad.î
This law will provide better security and protection measures for Peace Corps volunteers worldwide. The legislation is named for Kate Puzey, a 24-year-old Peace Corps Volunteer who was murdered in 2009 in Benin. Congressman Poe authored the companion House version of the legislation which passed the Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously on September 22, 2011.
This legislation will require 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. In addition, it will provide whistleblower protection for Peace Corps volunteers, a safeguard that is in place for federal employees but not Peace Corps volunteers.
Poe serves on the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs and is co-founder of the Congressional Victimsí Rights Caucus.