On Wednesday, the Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passed the Senate version of the Rewards for Justice update bill (S.2318).
You made this possible with your phone calls to U.S. Senators. You’re proving time and again that every voice matters.
From here the full Senate still has to vote on the bill, so we’re not done yet, but this is a huge step in the right direction for international justice.
Did you know the State Department has a Rewards for Justice program? It’s true. The program has been in place since 1984 and offers financial rewards for information that leads to the capture of wanted terrorists and drug traffickers, as well as war criminals wanted by the international criminal tribunals. Quite the motivational tool to catch the bad guy.
Earlier in the year, Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and John Boozman (R-AR) introduced legislation to the Senate that would expand the existing program to offer rewards for information leading to the arrest of Joseph Kony and top LRA commanders. (The parallel House version of the bill was introduced in February by Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) and has already passed through the House Foreign Affairs Committee.)
This program will provide incentives for information leading to the capture of Kony and his top commanders. Not only could it lead to valuable information about Kony’s location, plans, and movements, but it could also encourage the defection of lower-level commanders and those under their leadership, striking a severe blow to the LRA’s fighting capacity. It’s a win-win — which is why we want this legislation to pass.
Word on the street is that the Senate bill could be going up for a vote as early as next week. What can you do? Call your Senators today and ask them to cosponsor the Rewards for Justice legislation (S. 2318). Super easy – we tell you exactly how to do it here.
(Photo Credit: Enough Project)