STAND. COM. REP. NO. 146

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2023

 

RE: H.B. No. 579

H.D. 1

 

 

 

 

Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Human Services, to which was referred H.B. No. 579 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to require the Department of the Attorney General to:

 

(1) Address the needs of victims of human trafficking by developing and implementing a statewide Human Trafficking Prevention Program; and

 

(2) Report to the Legislature on the State's efforts to address human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, Catholic Charities Hawaii, Pacific Survivor Center, Zonta Club of Hilo, Midwives Alliance of Hawaii, and three individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General.

 

Your Committee finds that many children in the State are vulnerable to sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Your Committee further finds that, because child sex trafficking is covert, it is difficult to accurately measure the scope of the problem. Your Committee also finds that recent data indicates that Native Hawaiian women and girls are disproportionately represented among victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. The establishment of a statewide Human Trafficking Prevention Program will allow the State to develop and utilize comprehensive interagency case management strategies and protocols and provide a multi-disciplinary response to the commercial sexual exploitation of children and the broader issue of human trafficking in Hawaii.

 

Your Committee notes the concerns raised by the Department of the Attorney General regarding the short time frame to implement the Human Trafficking Prevent Program and lack of necessary funding for implementation of the program.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Amending the preamble;

 

(2) Expanding the statewide strategies required to be developed under the Human Trafficking Prevention Program to include accountability for child enticement, commercial sexual exploitation, pimping, and human trafficking;

 

(3) Including additional reporting requirements in the Department of the Attorney General's reports to the Legislature related to reports made to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Child Tip hotline; arrests, including arrests of active duty military or National Guard personnel; recovery of previously recovered children; and number of adult sex trafficking victims;

 

(4) Changing the effective date to June 30, 3000, to encourage further discussion; and

 

(5) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Human Services that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 579, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 579, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs.

 

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Human Services,

 

 

 

 

____________________________

JOHN M. MIZUNO, Chair