HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

722

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

H.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

S.D. 2

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that children in the State are vulnerable to sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Foster children and runaways with histories of abuse and neglect are at particularly high risk. LGBTQ+ youth, immigrants, undocumented workers, and youth suffering from mental illnesses and substance abuse issues are also highly vulnerable. Victims are often lured into sex trafficking through emotional manipulation and control, force, fraud, or threats. Sexually exploited children most often do not have the ability or resources to escape and start a new life.

The legislature recognizes that, in the last decade, the commercial sexual exploitation of children has garnered greater attention in Hawaii and throughout the United States. The department of human services has received an increasing number of calls on its hotline for witnesses or victims of child sex trafficking. However, 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.

The legislature further finds that, in order to adequately serve children who have been sexually exploited, a statewide human trafficking program is needed to develop and utilize comprehensive interagency case management strategies, protocols, and a multi-disciplinary response that is both victim-centered and offender-focused. The department of the attorney general will provide leadership in addressing both commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking more broadly.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to require the:

(1) Department of the attorney general to establish a statewide coordinator and program within the department to address the needs of victims of human trafficking;

(2) Department of the attorney general to provide reports to the legislature on the State's efforts to address human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children; and

(3) Children's justice program to coordinate the investigation and case management of child trafficking cases, including cases involving the sexual exploitation of children.

SECTION 2. Chapter 28, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"Part      . hUMAN TRAFFICKING STATEWIDE COORDINATOR AND PROGRAM

28-   Definitions. As used in this part:

"Child" means a person under eighteen years of age.

"Commercial sexual exploitation of children" means any sexual activity involving a child for the exchange or promise of anything of value by any person.

"Department" means the department of the attorney general.

"Human trafficking" includes "severe forms of trafficking in persons", as defined in title 22 United States Code section 7102(11), and "sex trafficking", as set forth in section 712‑1202 and as defined in title 22 United States Code section 7102(12).

"Statewide coordinator" means the statewide coordinator on human trafficking established in this part.

28-   Human trafficking statewide coordinator and program. (a) The attorney general shall appoint a statewide coordinator on human trafficking for the proper administration and enforcement of this chapter without regard to chapter 76.

(b) The department shall develop and implement a program to prevent and to assist victims of human trafficking that shall:

(1) Assess the current needs of the State's anti-trafficking response and develop:

(A) A statewide strategy to prevent human trafficking; and

(B) A plan to provide increased support and assistance to victims of the commercial sexual exploitation of children and victims of human trafficking;

(2) Implement statewide strategies to address offender accountability through law enforcement efforts, prosecutions, and crime prevention efforts;

(3) Promote public awareness of:

(A) Human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children;

(B) The availability of services for victims of human trafficking; and

(C) The availability of state and national hotlines for victims and witnesses;

(4) Produce and maintain information materials, including a website, on the prevention of human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children and on the availability of public resources for victims and witnesses;

(5) Develop and provide comprehensive training on how to prevent, identify, and address human trafficking and the commercial exploitation of children; and

(6) Apply for and monitor federal funding for anti-trafficking efforts.

(c) The department shall submit a report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2022 on the State's efforts to address the commercial sexual exploitation of children; and shall submit a report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2023 on the State's efforts to address human trafficking. Each report shall include:

(1) Plans to assist local and state agencies in identifying and responding to victims;

(2) Best practices used in other states to identify and serve victims;

(3) A comprehensive evaluation of applicable programs and services currently offered by the State;

(4) Strategies for public outreach and education;

(5) An assessment of barriers that inhibit law enforcement, service providers, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations in the State from supporting victims and holding offenders accountable;

(6) A review of criminal statutes in chapter 712 on prostitution and sex trafficking;

(7) Plans for a training program for educators, community members, members of law enforcement entities, and mandatory reporters of child abuse, including an outline of the training content and an assessment of whether mandatory training is required and in what intervals;

(8) Statewide assessment tools for first responders, medical professionals, and service providers for use in identifying victims;

(9) Plans for prevention strategies that mitigate the risk factors for victims and offenders;

(10) Recommendations for enhancing statewide collaboration and coordination through multidisciplinary teams, committees, and task forces;

(11) An analysis of the existing data regarding trafficking, which may include but shall not be limited to the following:

(A) Data specific to the commercial sexual exploitation of children, including:

(i) The number of reports to state and national hotlines alleging the sexual trafficking of a child;

(ii) The total number of children suspected to be victims of sex trafficking, including demographic information and information on whether each child was previously served by the department or by the department of human services;

(iii) The total number of children confirmed to be victims of sex trafficking, including demographic information and information on whether each child was previously served by the department or by the department of human services;

(iv) Data collected by state-contracted providers, including the types and aggregate costs of services provided to children who are suspected or confirmed victims of sex trafficking, the number of children receiving each type of service, and the total number of new children and families served through these providers; and

(v) The number of prosecutions and convictions in the State, delineated by county, for crimes related to human trafficking or the commercial sexual exploitation of children;

(B) Data specific to sex and labor trafficking;

(C) The identification of any gaps in the State's ability to collect data; and

(D) Recommendations for improving data collection and data sharing among service providers, non-governmental organizations, and government agencies, including law enforcement; and

(12) Any proposed legislation.

(d) The department may submit additional reports to the legislature providing data, status updates, and recommendations, as determined by the department.

(e) Every public official and state and county department shall render all necessary assistance and cooperation within the official's or department's jurisdictional power to share information and to assist the program in carrying out its duties under this part."

SECTION 3. Section 588-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

"(b) The purpose of the program shall be to:

(1) Develop, achieve, and maintain interagency and interprofessional cooperation and coordination in the investigation [of] and case management of [intrafamilial and extrafamilial] child sex abuse [and], serious physical child abuse, and child trafficking cases[;], including cases involving the commercial sexual exploitation of children;

(2) Facilitate in an impartial manner the professional gathering of information by public and private agencies and their providers for court proceedings involving child victims and witnesses;

(3) Reduce to the absolute minimum the number of interviews of child sex abuse and child trafficking victims so as to minimize revictimization of the child;

(4) Coordinate the therapeutic and treatment program for child sex abuse and child trafficking victims and their families;

(5) Provide for a multidisciplinary team and case management approach [which] that is focused first, on the alleged or suspected child sex abuse or child trafficking victim's needs and conditions; second, on the family members who are supportive of the child and whose interests are consistent with the best interests of the child; and third, on law enforcement and prosecutorial needs;

(6) Provide for the training and continuing education of skilled professional interviewers of child sex abuse and child trafficking victims; and

(7) Serve as the focus of information and referral for child sex abuse and child trafficking programs."

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on May 6, 2137.



 

Report Title:

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children; Human Trafficking; Attorney General; Prevention; Treatment

 

Description:

Establishes 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. Requires the attorney general to submit annual reports to the legislature. Requires 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. Effective 5/6/2137. (SD2)

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.