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S. 2003 (117th): Central American Women and Children Protection Act of 2021

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Dec 16, 2021.

Central American Women and Children Protection Act of 2021

This bill temporarily authorizes the Department of State to enter into bilateral compacts with the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to strengthen criminal justice systems, social supports, and other means to protect women and children from domestic and gender-based violence.

At least 15 days before entering a compact, the State Department must submit to Congress a copy of the proposed agreement and related materials. Authority to enter a compact terminates on September 30, 2023, and a compact may last no more than six years.

To support the objectives outlined in a compact, the State Department may provide assistance to international organizations, civil society, or other private entities for programs and activities to prevent and respond to domestic and gender-based violence in a compact country. The bill bars the provision of assistance to the government of a compact country as direct budgetary support.

The State Department may suspend or terminate the assistance if a compact country or entity receiving the assistance engaged in conduct contrary to U.S. national security interests or inconsistent with the objectives of the compact. The State Department must notify Congress at least 15 days before suspending or terminating assistance.

The bill also requires the State Department to annually report on progress made under each compact, including its effect on reported violence against women and children and other domestic and gender-based violence indicators.