Washington, D.C. — Today, H.R. 2059, which would end taxpayer funding of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), was voted out of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, moving the pro-life legislation one step closer to a full vote on the House floor. Co-sponsored by Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03), H.R. 2059 would prohibit funding for UNFPA based on its longstanding support of and participation in China’s one-child policy, which involves forced sterilization and coercive abortion to meet the nation’s strict population control mandate, and has resulted in a decrease in China’s population by as many as 400 million people.
For years, the United States refused to fund the UNFPA. However, in March 2009, President Obama reinstated funding, and has since contributed $145 million in taxpayer funds to the controversial program. If enacted, H.R. 2059 would save $400 million over 10 years by eliminating all U.S. contributions to UNFPA.
Rep. Kelly issued the following statement:
“The United States once took a principled stance against the UNFPA and its support of China’s inhumane practice of forced sterilization and coercive abortion. The fact that the Obama administration reversed this longstanding position shows a dangerous shift in our foreign policy. At its core, the UNFPA threatens the very rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that our great nation believes are afforded to all men and women.
“This program is an affront to our American values, and a threat to human rights everywhere. It’s an outrage that taxpayer dollars have funded this program to the tune of $145 million in recent years, and I’ll continue my efforts to make sure that this indefensible chapter in our foreign aid history comes to an immediate close.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- During today’s House Foreign Affairs Committee markup reauthorizing the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), an active participant in the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, successfully offered a bipartisan amendment calling for the Kingdom of Cambodia to be designated as a Tier 3 country for its egregious human trafficking record.
"The government of Cambodia insufficiently addressed their human trafficking problem and rampant corruption has exacerbated this form of modern day slavery," Royce said.
According to the State Department’s 2011 Trafficking in Persons report, Cambodia has made no improvements to identify or protect trafficking victims. News sources describe Cambodia as a "magnet" for those who sexually prey on the young. Additionally, Human Rights Watch describes Cambodia as being "plagued not only by widespread abuses committed by officials, but impunity for perpetrators."
Countries placed in Tier 3, the worst category, "do not fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so." Tier 3 countries are subject to a U.S. aid cutoff. Cambodia is currently designated as a Tier 2 country.
"The 2011 report cities that Cambodian ‘entertainment establishments’ may exploit up to 200 women and children on a single night. Cambodian police have been unwilling to pursue certain trafficking investigations because they were thought to involve high-ranking officials," Royce said.
"By cataloging these vile practices, the State Department’s report allows us to spotlight human trafficking. But when we don't follow the facts to a Tier 3 designation for countries like Cambodia, we do a disservice to the victims of these gross human rights abuses," Royce said.
Rep. Royce is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and is a member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.