Chapter 15A of the General Laws as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, shall be amended by inserting after Section 44 the following section:-
Section 45. (a) (1) Secondary and postsecondary institutions involved with providing student services abroad, located in the commonwealth and which require waivers for students participating in these programs shall prioritize health, safety and security in program development, implementation and management of study abroad programs. They shall achieve this by conducting risk assessments for program sites and activities to include assessments of lodging locations, maintaining written emergency plans and protocols specific to the destination and base of travel, and identifying and leveraging relevant authorities, networks and resources to establish statistical reporting of any student injured, assaulted or subjected to a criminal act while participating in the student sponsored travel. These plans, protocols and statistics shall be available for review upon request and prior to travel, by any consumer interested in participating in the sponsored program.
(2) Staff on study abroad trips shall be trained to anticipate and respond responsibly to student health, safety and security issues, including but not limited to basic first aid and familiarization with established emergency action plans. Prior to said study abroad trips, said institutions shall provide training to students to mitigate the risk of injury by providing updates on activities involving health, safety and security issues occurring at the proposed destination.
(b) (1) Said institutions shall file by November 1 of each year a report on its programs with the secretary of the commonwealth. Said report shall contain the following information from the previous academic year, including summer terms: (i) deaths of program participants that occurred during program participation as a result of program participation; (ii) accidents and illnesses that occurred during program participation as a result of program participation and that required hospitalization; (iii) sexual assaults and crimes against program participants, and details of the incidents, including date, time, location, and whether it was during participation in the program; and (iv) country, primary program host, and program type.
(2) For purposes of paragraph (1), "primary program host" shall have the following meaning:- an institution or organization responsible for or in control of the majority of decisions being made on the program including, but not limited to, student housing, local transportation, and emergency response and support.
(3) Information reported under paragraph (1), clause (i), may be supplemented by a brief explanatory statement.
(4) Said institutions shall request hospitalization and incident disclosure from students upon completion of the program.
(c) (1) The secretary of the commonwealth shall publish on its website: (i) the reports required by subsection (b) paragraph (1) in a format that facilitates identifying information related to said institutions; (ii) links to the United States Department of State's Consular Information Program informing the public of conditions abroad that may affect their safety and security; and (iii) links to the publicly available reports on sexual assaults and other criminal acts affecting study abroad program participants during program participation. This information shall not be limited to programs subject to this section.
(2) The secretary of state shall provide the information it posts on its website as required by paragraph (1) to the Department of Higher Education, in electronic format, at the time it posts the information. The Department shall post the information on its website and may otherwise distribute the information. In materials distributed or posted, the Department must reference this section.
(3) Said institutions shall include in its written materials provided to prospective program participants a link to the secretary of state website stating that program health and safety information is available at the website.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.