Hawaii Human Trafficking Bill Revived
Hawaii could still pass an anti-human trafficking bill this session.
Rep. John Mizuno resurrected an anti-labor trafficking bill Monday at a House Human Services Committee meeting. He amended Senate Bill 77 to include most of House Bill 577, which criminalizes labor trafficking. Mizuno has indicated he also plans to incorporate language in the amended SB 77 to criminalize sex trafficking.
The amended bill won't be available until after the Legislature's drafting agency is finished with it — Thursday at the latest, according to Mizuno's office.
Before Monday, Hawaii lawmakers appeared to have killed all six bills that would have established laws criminalizing human trafficking.
Local law enforcement have said that Hawaii doesn't need a human trafficking statute, and that existing laws are adequate. But the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for human trafficking disagreed, telling Civil Beat that new laws mean law enforcement get training for how to recognize what is a modern crime.
DISCUSSION: What should Hawaii lawmakers do to address human trafficking? Read what others have to say.