International Children with Disabilities Protection Act of 2022
The Whole Person endorsed the International Children with Disabilities Protection Act of 2022. U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, plans to introduce this legislation that would establish a grant-making fund within the U.S. Department of State to:
- Create a small grants program to support leadership and advocacy by people with disabilities and their families to protect the full inclusion of children with disabilities in society and to prevent unnecessary institutionalization;
- Promote advocacy skills and leadership by people with disabilities and family members of the children and youth with disabilities so that such individuals can participate in their local, regional, and national governments to bring about policy reforms, legal protections, and programs to support family inclusion of children with disabilities;
- Promote laws, policies, and funding programs that strengthen families and protect against the institutionalization of children with disabilities;
- Assist countries abroad in developing policies and social supports to protect families and ensure full inclusion of children with disabilities.
The legislation would authorize $2,000,000 for fiscal year 2024 and $10,000,000 annually for years 2025 to 2029 to the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor to award grants to leading civil society groups with expertise in global disability rights, prioritizing sub-grants awarded to organizations led by persons with disabilities.
Of the amount authorized, $3,000,000 annually for years 2025 to 2029 will be provided to NGOs to develop capacity-building programs for disability leaders, legislators, policymakers, and service providers.
The legislation will create programs to train policymakers, activists, and other individuals on successful models of reform, services, and rights protection to ensure that children with disabilities can live and grow up with families and become full participants in society.