This bill seeks to improve the lives of girls in foreign countries by ensuring they receive documentation.
According to the bill text, while many countries have birth registration laws — 4 out of 10 babies born in the world in 2012 were not registered. In addition, an estimated 36 percent of kids under five years old don't have a birth certificate. According to Sponsoring Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) notes in his release, without documentation, children are vulnerable to:
"human trafficking and exploitation, but it also leaves them excluded from accessing basic services in their countries, such as education."
This bill authorizes the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to offer support for a number of programs designed to encourage the documentation of girls in other countries. Those programs include ones aimed at:
- Developing and improving national systems to track births and deaths i.e. Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems;
- Developing legal and political methods to ensure that girls get birth certificates;
- Preventing discrimination against women and girls in home ownership, inheritance rights, and access to education.
The bill also encourages collaboration with the World Bank and U.N. agencies to implement and enforce laws to collect data on women and girls, and ensure that they’re able to participate in civic life. It also encourages collaboration with private sector entities to prevent exploitation and violence against children.
Finally, the Secretary of State would have to report to Congress, detailing the most effective programs, and who is benefitting from the programs.