THE SENATE

S.R. NO.

7

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE RESOLUTION

 

 

REQUESTING THE HAWAII STATE COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN TO CONVENE A TASK FORCE TO STUDY MISSING AND MURDERED NATIVE HAWAIIAN WOMEN AND GIRLS.

 

 

 


WHEREAS, indigenous women and girls are victims of violence at far greater rates than any other population in the United States; and

 

WHEREAS, women and children in Hawaii are facing a widespread epidemic of violence and sex trafficking; and

 

WHEREAS, First Nations in Canada organized a mass movement to expose the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, which led to a national report and declaration of a national emergency; and

 

WHEREAS, the Urban Indian Health Institute published the report "Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls: A snapshot of data from 71 urban cities in the United States" in 2018 to document the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in the United States; and

 

WHEREAS, this report did not include Hawaii nor any information on Native Hawaiian women and girls; and

 

WHEREAS, Native Hawaiian women as a group are more economically vulnerable than Native Hawaiian men, earning seventy cents for every dollar a man makes, and seventy-nine cents for every dollar a Native Hawaiian man makes; and

 

WHEREAS, historical trauma has increased the vulnerability of Native Hawaiian women and girls to sex trafficking and other forms of violent crimes; and

 

WHEREAS, harmful colonial stereotypes have resulted in the sexual fetishization of Native Hawaiian women; and

 

WHEREAS, Native Hawaiian women, girls, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community disproportionately experience factors that put them at high risk of being victims of sex trafficking and being involved with the sex industry; and

 

WHEREAS, state government agencies are required by various federal and state laws to tackle sex trafficking and collect data; and

 

WHEREAS, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs published the report "Haumea: Transforming the Health of Native Hawaiian Women and Empowering Wahine Well-Being" in 2018, and noted that there was no data specific to the human trafficking of Native Hawaiian women and girls; and

 

WHEREAS, the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, in partnership with Arizona State University, surveyed sex trafficking victims and found that in 2018, seventy-seven percent were Native Hawaiian, and then subsequently found that sixty-four percent were Native Hawaiian in 2019; and

 

WHEREAS, from 2017 to 2019, one out of every three child sex trafficking victims reported to the Child Welfare Services child sex trafficking hotline were Native Hawaiian, and ninety-five percent were girls; and

 

WHEREAS, family members must often rely on alert mechanisms for missing children, including physical message boards at stores and social media outlets; and

 

WHEREAS, the State should be listening to Native Hawaiians and identifying ways to increase reporting on missing and murdered Native Hawaiian women and girls; and

 

WHEREAS, nine states have passed legislation to address the missing and murdered indigenous women and girl crisis; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, that the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women is requested to convene a task force to conduct a study regarding missing and murdered Native Hawaiian women and girls; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force comprise the following members or their designees:

 

(1) The Executive Director of the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, who shall serve as a co-chair of the task force;

 

(2) The Chief Executive Officer of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, who shall serve as a co-chair of the task force;

 

(3) The Director of Health;

 

(4) The Director of Human Services;

 

(5) The Administrative Director of the Courts;

 

(6) The Attorney General;

 

(7) The Chair of the County Committee on the Status of Women of each respective county; and

 

(8) The Chief of Police of each respective county; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force also invite representatives of the following organizations to serve on the task force:

 

(1) One representative from Papa Ola Lokahi;

 

(2) One representative from the Sex Abuse Treatment Center;

 

(3) One representative from Hale Kipa;

 

(4) One representative from Residential Youth Services and Empowerment;

 

(5) One representative from Susannah Wesley Community Center; and

 

(6) One representative from Hoōla Nā Pua; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force may invite additional organizations or agencies to participate on the task force; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force is requested to include the following in its study:

 

(1) Identifying the cause of the problem;

 

(2) Identifying current databases and data collection methods;

 

(3) Identifying barriers to data collection and information sharing;

 

(4) Creating partnerships to increase reporting and investigations; and

 

(5) Recommending any legislation necessary to improve data collection and sharing to eliminate harm to indigenous women and girls; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women is requested to provide administrative support for the task force; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force submit a preliminary report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2023, and a final report, including any additional proposed legislation, no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2024; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Attorney General, Director of Health, Director of Human Services, Administrative Director of the Courts, Executive Director of the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, Chief Executive Officer of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of each County Committee on the Status of Women, Chief of Police of each county, Chief Executive Officer of Hale Kipa, President of Hoōla Nā Pua, Executive Director of Papa Ola Lokahi, Executive Director of Residential Youth Services and Empowerment, Executive Director of the Sex Abuse Treatment Center, and President of the Susannah Wesley Community Center.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

Report Title:

Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women; Missing; Murdered; Native Hawaiian Women and Girls; Task Force; Study