Like Causes?

Install the App
TRY NOW

senate Bill S. 802

Does the U.S. Need to Encourage Other Countries to Document Their Baby Girls?

Argument in favor

This bill would incentivize documenting infant girls in other countries. This is a huge problem in other countries: they don’t count girls, leaving them unable to participate in programs that require ID — the U.S. ought to help out.

tea's Opinion
···
06/03/2015
"The U.S. shouldn't meddle in other countries' affairs" is an overused, stale argument against any U.S. action vis-à-vis the international community. If we have the power and resources to do a little bit to help innocent children, then why shouldn't we? Just because a child is a citizen of another country, doesn't mean we should turn a blind eye to their exploitation. Not to mention, these children are sometimes trafficked and brought to the U.S... But the fact that they're exploited in the first place should be enough to inspire action.
Like (44)
Follow
Share
Edward's Opinion
···
06/01/2015
All humans should have the same opportunities.
Like (15)
Follow
Share
DCPolitical's Opinion
···
06/01/2015
It won't cost all that much money compared to a lot of other bills and it is a positive change. There is literally no downside to passing this.
Like (11)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

This bill encourages the U.S. to meddle in other countries’ affairs — and the U.S. should focus on it's own domestic child registry problems before telling other countries how they should document children.

ThomasParker's Opinion
···
06/01/2015
Not only are we not responsible for other nations, but there is certainly no guarantee that a decree made by the U.S. will be abided by. It would be a waste, since we would need more agencies and departments to determine and check on this.
Like (21)
Follow
Share
Jay's Opinion
···
06/05/2015
We have a responsibility to lead the world by example, not suggestion or bullying. Our culture is ours alone. We don't have a right to tell other sovereign countries how to 'behave'.
Like (17)
Follow
Share
JoeyM's Opinion
···
06/06/2015
Why? why document everyone? we are America, worry about America first! this is ridiculous!
Like (11)
Follow
Share

What is Senate Bill S. 802?

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.

Impact

Girls in places where they aren’t always documented, these countries’ governments, NGOs in these countries, the Secretary of State, USAID the United Nations.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 802

According to a CBO estimate, this bill would cost $1 million over the four years between 2016-2020.

More Information

Of Note: This legislation might make it seem like this is an issue that only afflicts the global community outside of the U.S. — unregistered children are a domestic issue. In February of 2015 a video of a 19-year-old Alecia Pennington went viral, in which she asked for help proving that she was a U.S. citizen. Raised and schooled in a strict Christian home in Texas, her parents never gave her a birth certificate or set up a Social Security number for her.


In Depth: The Senate passed this bill on May 23, 2015. It’s the reintroduction of another bill from the previous Congress, H.R. 3398.


Media:

Summary by James Helmsworth

(Photo Credit: Flickr user h20series

AKA

Girls Count Act of 2015

Official Title

A bill to authorize the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development to provide assistance to support the rights of women and girls in developing countries, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • EnactedJune 12th, 2015
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The house Passed June 1st, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
  • The senate Passed May 23rd, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Foreign Relations
    IntroducedMarch 19th, 2015

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    "The U.S. shouldn't meddle in other countries' affairs" is an overused, stale argument against any U.S. action vis-à-vis the international community. If we have the power and resources to do a little bit to help innocent children, then why shouldn't we? Just because a child is a citizen of another country, doesn't mean we should turn a blind eye to their exploitation. Not to mention, these children are sometimes trafficked and brought to the U.S... But the fact that they're exploited in the first place should be enough to inspire action.
    Like (44)
    Follow
    Share
    Not only are we not responsible for other nations, but there is certainly no guarantee that a decree made by the U.S. will be abided by. It would be a waste, since we would need more agencies and departments to determine and check on this.
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    We have a responsibility to lead the world by example, not suggestion or bullying. Our culture is ours alone. We don't have a right to tell other sovereign countries how to 'behave'.
    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
    All humans should have the same opportunities.
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    Why? why document everyone? we are America, worry about America first! this is ridiculous!
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    It won't cost all that much money compared to a lot of other bills and it is a positive change. There is literally no downside to passing this.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    When the lives of girls are held equal to the lives of boys, we will see a world unlike the past. We will have a new future. Anything we can do to move toward that day, we must do.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    In doing so, it helps cut down the illegal trafficking of children across the world
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    The cost is $250,000 yearly for an important issue like this. This bill should be passed. The United States should lead this change and show a global example of our morals (FOR A VERY CHEAP COST TO OUR GOVERNMENT!)
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Again another place where we need to stand up for what's right and not be daunted by the task at hand. I like to think if I had a magic wand would I make this happen?
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    Girls matter and should not be invisible.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    We have enough problems of our own with child abuse, slavery and even failure to provide birth certificates for our own children. Instead of "judging" others and enforcing "our morals" (which we, especially those that scream the loudest about them, cant be bothered to follow in the first place) we need to clean our own house first! What hypocrites we are to assume we should be the "rulers" when we don't have the moral basis ourselves to care for our own.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    This sounds like a duh question. People who think THAT'S meddling should take a real good look at our federal budget, and the WTO, and the world bank.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    US should be leading by example first. How can we tell other countries to value girls and women when women, especially woc, are devalued in comparison to men in this country. Every human matters. And although I support this bill, I do find it slightly hypocritical.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    I don't think those who oppose this realize the degree that it affects the United States; human trafficking is a problem all over the world, even here.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    Why can't we overhaul our system & encourage our friends & neighbors to do the same..? Yes, there will be cultural & religious hurdles around the globe but it is a global village & it takes a village to raise a child.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    Is this really what our lawmakers spend their time on? Let's try focusing on the problems here in the U.S.! This is not our problem Mr. Rubio.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Our government needs to stop attempting to police the entire world. Our country has borders and our laws should stop taking effect there. Beyond that, I think it's a step towards some dystopian future if it's made illegal to not be registered with some sort of government issued identity (serial number). If you really think that's a great idea however, then let the UN work this out. This is not our job, please focus your efforts on more significant domestic issues.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    I voted yes because there are many reasons why girls should be counted as citizens in the country they can do any thing men can do also women are worth no less than men
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    We don't need to police other nations
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE