Text: H.Res.230 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Engrossed in House (03/03/2020)

[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H. Res. 230 Engrossed in House (EH)]

H. Res. 230

                In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

                                                         March 3, 2020.
Whereas violence against children can take many forms, including sexual 
        violence, physical violence, emotional violence, abuse, neglect, and 
Whereas, each year, more than 1,000,000,000 children worldwide are exposed to 
Whereas, each year, the global economic impact of physical, psychological, and 
        sexual violence against children is estimated to be as high as 
        $7,000,000,000,000, which is 8 percent of global gross domestic product 
        (``global GDP'');
Whereas, around the world, an estimated 1 in 3 adolescent girls between 15 and 
        19 years of age, or 84,000,000 girls, have been victims of emotional, 
        physical, or sexual violence, which is often perpetrated by individuals 
        the girls know;
Whereas 1 in 5 girls in the developing world is said to be married before 
        reaching 18 years of age and, of those girls, an estimated 1 in 9 is 
        said to be married before reaching 15 years of age;
Whereas, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (``UNICEF''), if 
        current child marriage rates continue, 120,000,000 girls, an average of 
        12,000,000 girls a year, will be married before their 18th birthday over 
        the next decade;
Whereas 246,000,000 boys and girls experience school-related, gender-based 
        violence each year;
Whereas children with disabilities reportedly are 3 to 4 times more likely to 
        experience physical or sexual violence;
Whereas the tens of millions of children living outside of family care, 
        including those living on the streets, working away from home, or in 
        residential care, are particularly vulnerable to violence and abuse;
Whereas an estimated 152,000,000 children are involved in child labor and 
        4,300,000 children are subject to forced labor, including in situations 
        of trafficking;
Whereas nearly half of the 68,500,000 individuals who are currently displaced by 
        conflict and war around the world are children, and displacement exposes 
        those children to increased risk of exploitation, violence, and abuse;
Whereas, according to the United Nations, from 2016 to 2017, verified cases of 
        child recruitment, including forcible recruitment, and child 
        participation in armed conflict--

    (1) quadrupled in the Central African Republic;

    (2) doubled in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and

    (3) persisted at alarming levels in Somalia, South Sudan, the Syrian 
Arab Republic, and Yemen;

Whereas more than 10,000 children were killed or maimed in 2017 in armed 
Whereas the risks of online abuse and exploitation of children is constantly 
        growing, with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children 
        reviewing cases involving 25,000,000 child sexual abuse images in 2015, 
        up from 450,000 in 2004;
Whereas unaddressed exposure to violence disrupts the development of critical 
        brain architecture and other organ structures, leaving children at 
        lifelong risk of disease and reduced potential;
Whereas studies show toxic stress relating to exposure to violent or dangerous 
        environments becomes damaging to learning, behavior, and health across a 
Whereas violence against children can lead to negative health consequences, 
        including injury, noncommunicable and communicable diseases, and poor 
        maternal and child health outcomes;
Whereas all forms of violence in childhood have a significant negative impact on 
        educational outcomes, including by reducing school attendance and 
        increasing dropout rates, and can further limit access to the physical, 
        mental health, psychosocial, and cognitive protections that safe 
        educational settings provide;
Whereas decades of behavioral and social science research have demonstrated that 
        building adaptive capacities, known as resilience, through stable and 
        committed relationships with a supportive caregiver or other adult can 
        lessen the harmful developmental effects of violence in children and 
Whereas, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and 
        Development, the United States invests 0.5 percent of official 
        development assistance in programs that are designed to prevent and 
        address violence against children and youth;
Whereas the United States, in coordination with public-private partnerships and 
        other organizations, has endorsed the technical package called 
        ``INSPIRE: Seven Strategies for Ending Violence against Children'' 
        (referred to in this preamble as ``INSPIRE'') put forth by the World 
        Health Organization with substantial technical input from the United 
        States Government, including from the Centers for Disease Control and 
        Prevention and United States Agency for International Development;
Whereas INSPIRE contains seven evidence-based strategies to end violence against 
        children that include--

    (1) implementing and enforcing relevant laws;

    (2) addressing harmful gender and other social norms;

    (3) creating and sustaining safe communities;

    (4) supporting parents and caregivers;

    (5) improving household economic security to reduce violence in the 

    (6) improving access to health services, social welfare, and criminal 
justice support; and

    (7) ensuring safe school environments that provide gender-equitable 
education and social-emotional learning and life skills training; and

Whereas the United States Agency for International Development, the Department 
        of State, the Department of Labor, the Department of Homeland Security, 
        and the Department of Health and Human Services each play a critical 
        role in preventing and responding to violence against children and 
        youth: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the 
United States--
            (1) condemns all forms of violence against children and youth 
        globally, including physical, mental, and sexual violence, neglect, 
        abuse, maltreatment, and exploitation; and
            (2) should--
                    (A) develop and implement a comprehensive and coordinated 
                strategy built on evidence-based practices, including the 
                technical package called ``INSPIRE: Seven Strategies for Ending 
                Violence against Children'' put forth by the World Health 
                Organization; and
                    (B) adopt common metrics and indicators to monitor progress 
                across Federal agencies to prevent, address, and end violence 
                against children and youth globally, including harmful impacts 
                of violence on the healthy development of children and the 
                harmful economic impact of violence against children and youth 


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