20 Jan 2012

Hawaii lawmakers review human trafficking bills

4:02 pm on 20 January 2012

Lawmakers in Hawaii plan to review a series of bills on human trafficking during the 2012 legislative session.

Hawaii was one of only four states without human trafficking laws before the governor signed two bills last year into law that made human trafficking a felony.

The Hawaii-based director of the not-for-profit Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery, Kathryn Xian, says she will be involved in drafting further legislation to crack down on such abuse.

Among the provisions is a state plan to deal with victims of human trafficking, such as better education about the issue in schools, mandatory reporting by health professionals, and a hotline number for victims that must be advertised in public places like hotels.

"We are a hub for sex and labour trafficking. We are up there in the thicket, so because of our location, and because it's a tourist destination and it attracts large sporting events, as well as military events. All those things attracts traffickers."

The director of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery in Hawaii, Kathryn Xian