Text: H.R.4377 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (04/02/2014)


113th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 4377


To place conditions on assistance to the Government of Burma.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 2, 2014

Mr. Chabot (for himself and Mr. Crowley) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


A BILL

To place conditions on assistance to the Government of Burma.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Burma Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2014”.

SEC. 2. Assistance for the Government of Burma.

(a) Limitation.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—No funds authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available for fiscal year 2014 or 2015 may be made available for security assistance described in paragraph (2) to the Government of Burma unless the Secretary of State certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that—

(A) the Government of Burma has taken concrete steps toward—

(i) establishing civilian oversight of the armed forces;

(ii) addressing human rights abuses by the Burmese military, including publicly acknowledging that human rights abuses have been and continue to be committed by the Burmese military, and committing to a zero tolerance policy against such human rights abuses; and

(iii) terminating military relations with North Korea;

(B) the Government of Burma has taken concrete steps to establish a fair, transparent and inclusive process to amend the Constitution of Burma, including the full participation of the political opposition and all ethnic minority groups, and the constitutional reform process will provide the basis for free, fair, and competitive elections in Burma;

(C) the Government of Burma has amended its constitution and laws to ensure civilian control of the military and implemented reforms to increase the transparency and accountability of the military’s budget and operations, and the Burmese military has taken substantial and meaningful steps to divest itself from ownership of commercial businesses;

(D) the Government of Burma is showing meaningful and well-documented efforts to promote peace agreements or political reconciliation and equal and fair treatment of all ethnic groups in conflict areas or areas of unrest, and to actively address the resettlement and humanitarian situation of displaced persons; and

(E) the Burmese military is—

(i) improving its human rights record, as measured by consistent decreases in reports of forced labor, indefinite detention, torture, or cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment of detainees, and use in armed conflict of indiscriminate or disproportionate methods and means of attack;

(ii) demonstrating a genuine interest in reform by ceasing attacks against ethnic minority groups in both ceasefire and non-ceasefire areas;

(iii) taking steps to withdraw forces from conflict zones, including by halting the use of soldiers in economic development projects;

(iv) adhering to the conditions of ceasefire agreements; and

(v) signing and implementing a code of conduct.

(2) DEFINITION.—In this subsection, the term “security assistance” means—

(A) assistance under chapter 2 (military assistance), chapter 5 (military education and training), or chapter 6 (peacekeeping operations) of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961;

(B) assistance under chapter 8 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, chapter 9 of part II of such Act, section 504 of the FREEDOM Support Act, section 23 of the Arms Export Control Act, or the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 for demining programs and activities to be carried out by or in conjunction with military units or personnel of a foreign country;

(C) sales of defense articles or defense services, extensions of credits (including participations in credits), and guaranties of loans under the Arms Export Control Act; or

(D) any license in effect with respect to the export of defense articles or defense services to or for the armed forces, police, intelligence, or other internal security forces of Burma under section 38 of the Arms Export Control Act.

(3) APPLICABILITY TO FY 2014 FUNDS.—The limitation on the availability of funds under this subsection for fiscal year 2014 shall apply with respect to funds that are unobligated as of the date of the enactment of this Act.

(4) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—Nothing in this Act should be construed either to prevent participation by Burmese authorities in training on civil-military relations and human rights, as carried out by the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies, or to prevent United States disaster assistance in Burma.

(b) Report.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Secretary of State shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the strategy for, and plans and status of, engagement between the United States and the Burmese military.

(2) ELEMENTS.—The report required under paragraph (1) shall include the following elements:

(A) A description and assessment of the Government of Burma’s strategy for security sector reform, an identification and comprehensive analysis of those reform elements that the United States Government should support, and a multi-year cost estimate for providing such support.

(B) The United States strategy for the relationship between the United States and the Burmese military, including a description of how and why such engagements are necessary for United States national security.

(C) An assessment of the human rights record of the Burmese military over the past decade, including—

(i) an account of violations of human rights and laws of armed conflict by the Burmese military and all paramilitary and security forces under its command, including against ethnic minority groups;

(ii) a description of efforts by the Burmese military to implement human rights reforms; and

(iii) a description of progress in the relationship between the United States and the Burmese military and such reforms.

(D) An assessment of any substantial and meaningful steps taken by the Burmese military to implement reforms to increase transparency and accountability of the military’s budget and operations and to divest itself from ownership of commercial business.

(E) A list of ongoing activities conducted by the United States Government and other international donors with the Burmese military, including a description of each such activity.

(F) An update on activities that were listed in previous reporting.

(G) A list of activities that are planned to occur over the upcoming year, with a written description of each.

(H) A description of progress on the peaceful settlement of armed conflicts between the Government of Burma and ethnic minority groups, including the steps taken by the Burmese military to demonstrate respect for ceasefires, laws of armed conflict, and human rights provisions prohibiting rape, torture, forced labor, trafficking, and the use of child soldiers.

(I) A description of the concrete steps the Government of Burma has taken—

(i) to establish a fair, transparent, and inclusive process to amend the Constitution of Burma;

(ii) to promote peace agreements or political reconciliation and equal and fair treatment of all ethnic groups in conflict areas or areas of unrest; and

(iii) to actively address the resettlement and humanitarian situation of displaced persons.

(J) An assessment of the status of the Burmese military’s cooperation with civilian authorities to investigate and resolve cases of human rights violations.

(3) FORM.—The report required under paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may contain a classified annex as necessary.

(c) Appropriate congressional committees defined.—In this section, the term “appropriate congressional committees” means the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.