HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.R. NO.

137

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2022

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE RESOLUTION

 

 

URGING THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES TO establish or contract WITH A VICTIM SERVICE PROVIDER TO MAINTAIN AN EMERGENCY SHELTER FOR CHILDREN WHO ARE SURVIVORS OF SEX TRAFFICKING.

 

 

 


WHEREAS, according to a September 2018 report on sex trafficking in Hawaii published by Arizona State University School of Social Work and the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, it is estimated that one out of every eleven men in Hawaii over the age of eighteen is an online sex buyer and that there are 74,362 potential sex buyers in Hawaii; and

 

WHEREAS, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a service provider for sex trafficking victims in Hawaii reported a three hundred percent increase in demand for services, which included trauma-informed care; and

 

WHEREAS, as part of a juvenile justice reform measure, the Legislature passed Act 208, Session Laws of Hawaii 2018, which authorized the creation and development of the Kawailoa Youth and Family Wellness Center at Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility sites, including "crisis shelters for victims of human trafficking"; and

 

WHEREAS, within just a few months of that authorization, the Kawailoa campus included an assessment center and shelter for young victims of sex trafficking; and

 

WHEREAS, in the spring of 2021, the nonprofit organization Hoōla Nā Pua opened a thirty-two bed residential treatment program for victims of sex trafficking in Hawaii; and

 

WHEREAS, however, neither of these two facilities serve as an emergency shelter for child survivors of sex trafficking; and

 

WHEREAS, the State only has one emergency shelter for child survivors of sex trafficking, which temporarily ceased operations in 2021 because of unexpected budget shortfalls; and

 

WHEREAS, maintaining an emergency shelter for child survivors of sex trafficking will improve the State's effectiveness in responding to sexual exploitation by allowing government agencies and victim service providers to establish a coordinated continuum of care and protect victims in a centralized location; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2022, that the Department of Human Services is urged to establish or contract with a victim service provider to operate and maintain an emergency shelter for children who are survivors of sex trafficking; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the emergency shelter is urged to provide services that include but are not limited to housing, rehabilitation, medical, mental health, therapeutic, legal, and diagnostic services for child survivors of sex trafficking; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, Director of Human Services, and Executive Director of the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

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Report Title:

Sex Trafficking; Children; Emergency Shelter; Department of Human Services; Victim Service Providers