New Foundation Focuses on Keeping Young People Safe Abroad

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ClearCause™ pushes for US: regulations, reforms & public reporting; in youth-travel, foreign exchange and study abroad industry.

A new nonprofit foundation has formed to help protect the safety of millions of young people who travel and study abroad every year. ClearCause™ Foundation is focused on solving problems within the US $17 billion youth-travel, exchange and study abroad industry without government regulations, including the lack of federal oversight for organizations entrusted to care for youth and students overseas.

“There are literally thousands of youth travel, study-abroad and student-exchange programs, but virtually no government oversight or federally mandated safety standards regarding their operations – most importantly, how they handle a crisis involving a child,” said Sheryl Hill. She founded ClearCause with her husband Allen as a result of their son’s death during a People to People Student Ambassador trip to Japan in 2007.

“As host family to eight Internationals, we value the opportunity to reach across borders for global interchange. Travel and study abroad can and should be a wonderful experience for a young person, but there are inherent risks and failures in this self-governed industry that must be addressed,” said Allen &Sheryl Hill, who are also founders of ClearCause™ Coalition, 501c4 non profit, a growing alliance of parents, students, educators, and responsible members of the international youth travel, foreign exchange and study abroad industry.

ClearCause is pushing for protections and transparent reporting to help ensure the health, safety and human rights of young people traveling and studying abroad and inform the public of safety breeches. These reforms include:

  •     Federal regulation of the youth-travel, foreign exchange and study abroad industry to help prevent cases in which young travelers have died, been denied health care, abandoned, abused, sexually abused and even killed while abroad.
  •     An easy-access response system that instantly connects young travelers in emergency situations to timely health care, police protection and embassy assistance and notifies emergency contacts at home.
  •     A family-friendly federally mandated transparent database containing reports about incidents and safety breeches involving American youth and students chaperoned overseas that names the agency responsible.

“We need a central, accurate clearinghouse for information so parents and students can determine whether good safety practices and vital support systems are in place,” Annamarie Saarinen (ClearCause board member) said.

“Through ClearCause, we desire US federal: oversight, protective laws and regulation, and mandated transparent public reporting - to protect American’s young generation for accountability and to prevent tragic history from repeating,” Allen Hill, ClearCause CEO said.

About ClearCause Foundation
ClearCause Foundation, an emerging 501c3 nonprofit, advocates for the safety of youth traveling abroad. Along with its partner - the ClearCause Coalition, a nonprofit 501c4, it is working to establish public awareness and policy around the lack of federal oversight, accountability and integrity in global youth travel, foreign exchange and study-abroad programs. ClearCause was founded by Sheryl and Allen Hill in honor of their son Tyler, who died in 2007 while on a People to People Student Ambassador trip to Japan in 2007. More information about ClearCause is available at http://www.clearcausefoundation.org and http://www.clearcausecoalition.org. More information on Tyler Hill is available at http://www.tylerhill.org.

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Sheryl Hill

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