WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) celebrated the Committee’s passage of the bipartisan International Children with Disabilities Protection Act of 2023, which bolsters U.S. support for children with disabilities and strengthens the ability of disability rights organizations and families to advocate for necessary reforms to protect these children.
“Tragically, children with disabilities around the world are frequently denied the opportunity to grow up in a loving family, receive an education, and thrive in their communities,” said Chairman Menendez. “The Committee’s passage of this legislation today brings the United States one step closer to providing critical support to organizations of persons with disabilities and families of children with disabilities—the most important and effective advocates—who fight every day for the rights of these children globally. I welcome the strong bipartisan support of my Senate colleagues in redoubling our efforts toward advancing disability rights.”
“Children with disabilities deserve a place in society where they are respected, loved and treated with basic human dignity,” said Senator Moran. “This legislation helps protect the most vulnerable children across the world and makes certain they have the opportunities to succeed by supporting their families and helping keep them out of harmful institutions.”
Chairman Menendez’s bill authorizes $5 million annually for five years for an ‘‘International Children with Disabilities Protection Program,” a State Department small-grants program to empower organizations and families advocating for children with disabilities. In addition, the legislation bolsters U.S. policy to promote the development of laws and policies that support the full inclusion of children with disabilities in families.
The following lawmakers joined Chairman Menendez and Senator Moran in cosponsoring the International Children with Disabilities Protection Act of 2023: Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.