TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2015
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to sex trafficking.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that according to the National Survey of Residential Programs for Victims of Sex Trafficking conducted by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA), victims of sex trafficking can be any age, race, or gender. However, young girls are most vulnerable and at risk to be coerced into the sex trade.
The ICJIA study found that trafficking victims are in need of a wide range of services. Victims of trafficking often suffer from serious physical and psychological problems and are in need of comprehensive, long-term trauma-informed treatment. According to the United States Department of Justice, trafficking victims require specialized recovery programs that offer "shelter, nutrition, and appropriate medical treatment as well as psychological evaluation, counseling, alcohol and drug treatment programs, education programs, and life skills training."
However, a study completed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services to learn about services for victims of human trafficking found that "across the board, it was clear that the services provided to this population were inadequate." The ICJIA study reported that historically, there have been a limited number of shelters and services available to trafficking victims and even fewer with the capacity to appropriately treat the severity of problems presented. Trafficking victims have been placed in detention or domestic violence shelters and do not receive services that are tailored to their specific needs. Trafficking victims require extensive care and support that traditional domestic violence or homeless shelters cannot provide.
According to the ICJIA study, there has been a trend around the country to open residential facilities designed to better serve the population of victims of sex trafficking. Many of these programs offer comprehensive residential and other services to sex trafficking victims. In addition to residential services, many organizations offer additional services to trafficking victims through outreach and drop-in centers.
However, studies have found that the lack of funding is a significant barrier to providing services to trafficking victims. The wide range of services needed by victims often make these services time-consuming and costly, and many programs do not receive adequate funding to support the comprehensive services required to treat trafficking victims. Furthermore, studies have found that coordination with federal, state, and local organizations is a significant challenge to providing services to trafficking victims, especially with the communicating, reporting, and sharing of information. Strong coordination with government agencies is important for prosecution as well as helping trafficking victims obtain proper documentation for and access to services.
The purpose of this Act is to require the department of human services to provide proper and necessary emergency treatment to minor sex trafficking victims in Hawaii and appropriate funds.
SECTION 2. Chapter 346, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§346- Minor sex trafficking victims; emergency care. (a) The department shall coordinate and provide emergency care to minor sex trafficking victims.
(b) The department shall assist federal law enforcement, county police departments, sheriff, deputy sheriff, county prosecutors' offices, family courts, attorney general's office, department of health, department of labor, and victim service providers in obtaining emergency care for minor sex trafficking victims.
(c) Not more than forty-eight hours after identifying a minor sex trafficking victim, the department shall notify appropriate governmental and non-governmental agencies that the minor may be eligible for services under this section.
(d) The department shall establish gender-specific emergency care facilities for the treatment of minor sex trafficking victims. If a minor is found to pose imminent danger to self or others, the minor may be provided emergency care for an indefinite period of time only at an emergency care facility established under this section.
(e) For the purposes of this section, a minor sex trafficking victim shall be eligible for services at an emergency care facility that provides services to the minor's gender identity or expression, regardless of whether that gender identity or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the minor's sex at birth.
(f) The department may contract with victim service providers for the purposes of implementing this section.
(g) The department shall require any victim service provider contracted pursuant to this section to submit to the department a financial report each year that the contract is in effect. The report shall include recommendations about improving services for minor sex trafficking victims. Failure to provide a financial report shall be grounds for the department to terminate a contact with a victim service provider.
(h) For the purposes of this section:
"Emergency care" means services provided to minor sex trafficking victims, including housing, shelter, rehabilitation, education, vocational, medical, mental health, and substance abuse treatment programs.
"Gender identity or expression" shall have the same meaning as set forth in section 378-1.
"Minor sex trafficking victim" means a person under the age of eighteen who is found to be:
(1) Engaging in prostitution pursuant to section 712‑1200(1)(a);
(2) A victim of promoting prostitution in the first degree pursuant to section 712-1202(b); or
(3) A victim of the crime of sex trafficking of children under title 18 United States Code section 1591.
"Victim service provider" means any non-governmental organization that provides social, medical, or mental health services, or shelter, to minor sex trafficking victims."
SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2015-2016 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2016-2017 for the department of human services to coordinate and provide emergency care to minor sex trafficking victims.
The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of human services for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2015.
Sex Trafficking; Minors; Emergency Care; Appropriation
Requires the department of human services to provide emergency care services such as housing, shelter, rehabilitation, education, vocational, medical, mental health, and substance abuse treatment to minor sex trafficking victims. Appropriates funds.
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.