Yesterday, a second suspect pleaded guilty in the largest human trafficking case in the history of the United States, which involved the labor trafficking of more than 400 victims from Thailand in Hawaii. The suspect confessed to confiscating victims’ passports, and was accused of promising the Thai workers lucrative jobs in the United States, charging them high fees for this service, and then forcing them to work at Maui Pineapple Farm. The workers were held in a debt bondage situation, scared of losing their homes, threatened with deportation, and faced increasing debt that they could not pay off.
This case is just one example of why Hawaii, currently one of only four states with no law against human trafficking, needs a change in legislation. This could be happening soon - the Hawaii State Legislature has just passed two anti-human trafficking bills, HB141 and HB240. These bills will be making their way to the Governor’s desk and your support is needed to urge him to sign these bills into law!
These critical pieces of legislation have passed the Hawaii State Legislature and are now awaiting the Governor’s signature. Please take action to ensure that HB 141 and HB 240 become law!
Photo Credit: ptc24
HB 141, the Labor Trafficking Bill in Hawaii, will allow for criminalization of labor trafficking, non-payment of wages, and confiscating immigration documents, and will increase penalties for traffickers and allow for restitution for victims. The bill will also allow for asset forfeiture and wiretapping for labor trafficking.
HB 240, a bill aimed at curbing the demand of commercial sex also passed. This bill provides witness protection to victims of promoting prostitution (akin to sex trafficking); expands the definition and increases penalties for promoting prostitution; and makes habitual solicitation of prostitution a felony.
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