U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will host an oversight hearing tomorrow examining reports of serious crimes and violence against Peace Corps volunteers serving overseas. The hearing, which is being held in conjunction with a Committee investigation, will also examine the Peace Corps' response to the crimes and its actions to ensure volunteer safety in the future. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Peace Corps officials continue to state that safety is their number one priority. However, recent information obtained from whistleblowers, numerous news reports, and the Peace Corps Inspector General Office shows that the Peace Corps is failing to adequately provide for the safety of volunteers, and address the serious crimes which have been committed against volunteers.
"Volunteers are the Peace Corps' essential resource and work all over the world to help people in developing countries. It is the responsibility of the Peace Corps to ensure their safety as they carry out their missions.
"Our Committee's work on this matter will not end with this hearing. In addition to requesting a review by the Government Accountability Office, it is my intention that this hearing will be followed up with broader Peace Corps reform hearings at the Subcommittee level."