From Petition Creator: "During the 2013 legislative session, the State Legislature passed four bills to combat human trafficking in Hawaii. If signed into law by Gov. Neil Abercrombie, these measures will help stem the consumer demand for prostitution that drives the sex-trafficking industry, while expanding services for victims of coerced prostitution and labor trafficking. The most important legislative victory for anti-trafficking advocates, this year, was passage of Senate Bills 192 and 194, which together form a comprehensive “end demand” legal package. SB 192 creates the new offense of solicitation of a minor for prostitution, graded as a class C felony that carries a minimum $2,000 fine. The bill (SB 192), which applies to the protection of minors under the age of eighteen, also extends the statute of limitations for civil remedies related to coerced prostitution to six years, expands asset forfeiture laws to cover an increased range of solicitation offenses, and adds solicitation of a minor to the state's list of crimes subject to the sex offender registry. Similarly, SB 194 (signed into law on April 26 as Act 53) makes all solicitation of prostitution crimes ineligible for deferred acceptance of a guilty or no contest plea.."
Currently, Hawaii has no protocol to legally detain juveniles rescued from prostitution without criminalizing them. The Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery (PASS) is urging the Hawaii State Legislature to pass legislation to help child trafficking victims to proper rehabilitative and healing services rather than to incarceration.
PASS is also urging the legislature to pass an End Demand Bill (SB192/HB1066 and SB194) which seek to increase penalties for patrons of prostitution/sex-trafficking, commonly referred to as “johns.” The existing grade of offense for johns is a petty misdemeanor, equivalent to the fine of remaining in a public park after hours. The penalty for the offense of fueling prostitution/sex-trafficking, by providing the demand, has not been updated in Hawaii since the law was created in the early 70s.
Please help Hawaii pass these bills because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Help us stop the growth of child-trafficking in America.
FACTS: Hawaii’s incarceration rate of juvenile girls exceed the national average. Of these offenses, about 35% are runaways. Hawaii has one of the highest rates of intrafamilial sexual abuse (or incest) and also has one of the highest attempted teen suicide rates in the nation. There are approximately 300 children reported missing in Hawaii per month. There are no law enforcement stats for child sex-trafficking because of the lack of a state sex-trafficking law.
Earlier this year, Shared Hope International rated Hawaii second worst in the nation in protecting child victims of sex trafficking by law.