Peace Corps: Initiatives for Addressing Safety and Security Challenges Hold Promise, but Progress Should Be Assessed

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "About 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers now serve in 70 countries, often living in areas with limited access to reliable communications, police, or medical services. Moreover, as Americans, they may be viewed as relatively wealthy and hence good targets for criminal activity. The Peace Corps has reported rising numbers of assaults against its volunteers since it began collecting data in 1990. However, the Peace Corps' record is mixed when it comes to developing safe and secure housing and worksites for volunteers, monitoring volunteers and responding to security ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. July 25, 2002.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "About 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers now serve in 70 countries, often living in areas with limited access to reliable communications, police, or medical services. Moreover, as Americans, they may be viewed as relatively wealthy and hence good targets for criminal activity. The Peace Corps has reported rising numbers of assaults against its volunteers since it began collecting data in 1990. However, the Peace Corps' record is mixed when it comes to developing safe and secure housing and worksites for volunteers, monitoring volunteers and responding to security concerns or criminal incidents, and preparing for emergencies. To reduce risks to its volunteers, the Peace Corps has adopted policies that address monitoring and disseminating information on the security environment; volunteer training; development of safe and secure housing and work sites for volunteers; monitoring volunteers and responding to incidents and concerns; and planning for emergencies, such as evacuations. Volunteer surveys and GAO visits to five overseas ports indicate that volunteers are generally satisfied with agency training programs and other efforts designed to emphasize safety and security awareness. The agency is not certain, but officials have stated that efforts to improve its system for collecting crime data may have led to higher reported rates. In May 2002, the Peace Corps told GAO of several initiatives to improve current safety and security practices. Although these initiatives are directed at many of the obstacles to improved performance, they do not address staff turnover."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • July 25, 2002

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Peace Corps: Initiatives for Addressing Safety and Security Challenges Hold Promise, but Progress Should Be Assessed, report, July 25, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc293985/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.