STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1644
RE: H.B. No. 722
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 722, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Establish a statewide coordinator and program overseen by the Department of the Attorney General to provide services and assistance to commercially sexually exploited children and victims of human trafficking;
(2) Require the Attorney General to submit annual reports to the Legislature; and
(3) Require the children's justice program to coordinate the investigation and case management of child human trafficking cases, including cases involving the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Judiciary, Department of Human Services, Department of the Attorney General, Department of Health, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu, Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of the County of Hawai‘i, Honolulu Police Department, Parents And Children Together, Imua Alliance, and one individual. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual.
Your Committees find children, particularly foster, runaway, LGBTQ+, immigrant, and undocumented children and children suffering from mental illnesses and substance abuse issues, are vulnerable to sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Your Committees further find that victims are often lured into sex trafficking through emotional manipulation and control, force, fraud, or threats, and that sexually exploited children most often do not have the ability or resources to escape and start a new life. Your Committees additionally find that, although the Department of Human Services has received an increasing number of calls on its hotline for witnesses or victims of child sex trafficking, because child sex trafficking is covert, it is difficult to accurately measure the scope of the problem, and exploited youth may not identify themselves as victims.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting an effective date of May 6, 2137, to encourage further discussion; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 722, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 722, H.D. 2, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means,
DONOVAN M. DELA CRUZ, Chair
KARL RHOADS, Chair