U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), along with Congressmen Pat Fallon (R-Texas) and Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Ukraine Human Rights Policy Act of 2022.
This legislation would put in place a robust mechanism to hold the Russian Federation accountable for the countless human rights abuses it has committed against the people of Ukraine.
“I have met with the spouses and mothers of Ukrainian soldiers currently imprisoned by Russian thugs who have no idea if their loved ones are alive or dead. I have met with Ukrainians who have suffered in unspeakable ways going back to Russia’s first invasion of Crimea in 2014. Russia’s egregious human rights abuses must be met with accountability, both today and in the future. By ensuring strong sanctions are placed on the Russian Federation, this bill marks a step toward justice for the thousands of Ukrainians suffering at the hands of Russia’s barbaric aggression in Ukraine. I’m proud to lead this bipartisan bill to hold Vladimir Putin accountable and urge its passage by Congress,” said Senator Young.
Specifically, this bill would:
- Establish a congressional nomination process for human rights sanctions in Sec. 228 of Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA);
- Amend the Sense of Congress in Sec. 252 of CAATSA to solidify support for Ukraine and to further condemn the Russian Federation and its use of paramilitary organizations;
- Update U.S. policy to address individuals involved in/assisting in Russia’s forced relocation, detention, and filtration activities within Ukraine and in Russia;
- Require the annual State Department human rights report include details on human rights abuses in Ukraine and details on forced relocation and detention by Russia; and
- Require a classified report to Congress on the scope of Russia’s war crimes, including abuses to human rights.
Senator Rosen issued the following statement:
“The horrific atrocities committed by Russia in Ukraine – including the recent discovery of mass graves filled with innocent Ukrainian men, women, and children – cannot go unanswered. As we continue to stand with Ukraine in pursuing justice for these crimes, I’m helping introduce bipartisan legislation to hold Russia accountable for its human rights abuses, and I thank Senator Young and Representatives Panetta and Fallon for their partnership on this bill.”
Congressman Fallon stated:
“I could not think of a more fitting bill to introduce with my House and Senate colleagues following the UN Security Council Meeting and the horrific mass graves uncovered in Izyum. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reflects Vladimir Putin’s complete disregard for human life. Reports indicate that Vladimir Putin’s war machine is responsible for the forced relocation of over 1 million Ukrainian citizens and almost 15,000 civilian casualties. It’s barbarism such as this that has led my colleagues and I to this legislation. Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation deserve to be held accountable for every atrocity that they have committed.
“The Ukraine Human Rights Policy Act of 2022 provides the United States more tools to accomplish this very goal. The world must ensure justice for every man, woman, and child of Ukraine.”
Congressman Panetta added:
“As Russia continues its ruthless and remorseless attack on Ukraine, the Ukrainian people are experiencing, and the world is witnessing human rights atrocities. By expanding the authority to apply sanctions against Russia, our Ukraine Human Rights Policy Act is a device to hold Russia accountable for its heinous acts and a deterrent against further crimes against humanity. This bipartisan legislation is consonant with the United States leadership on assisting Ukraine and countering Russia and consistent with our values as the world’s leading democracy.”
Foundation for Defense of Democracies Action provided the following statement of support:
“This bipartisan legislation provides a critical pathway for Congress to provide much needed oversight of the administration’s efforts to hold Russian human rights violators in Ukraine and elsewhere accountable.”